Tag: Saint Vitus

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays R.I.P. Releases a Mosh Pit Friendly Ripper

Over the past handful of years, I’ve spilled quite a bit of virtual ink covering Portland, OR-based doom metal act and JOVM mainstays R.I.P. And as you may recall, with the release of their first two albums, 2016’s In The Wind and 2017 ‘s Street Reaper, the Portland-based doom metal act quickly established a grimy, punishing and depraved take on metal that they dubbed Street Doom.

The Portland-based JOVM’s long-awaited, third album Dead End is slated for an October 9, 2020 release through RidingEasy Records, and the album’s sound is the result of the band going through a massive lineup change that involved the addition of a much more aggressive rhythm section. while also drawing from a broader and more diverse array of influences, including John Carpenter films, grungy professional wrestling and lo-fi hip-hop among others. In many ways, the album’s material is a decided move away from their earliest influences — i.e., Pentagram and Saint Vitus — and yet it may arguably be the most hook-driven batch of songs of their growing catalog. However, despite all of the other changes, R.I.P.’s thematic concerns have remained the same as always: death, insanity — and leather.

So far I’ve written about two of Dead End’s previously released singles — the Black Sabbath-like “Out of Time,” and the Headbanger’s Ball/Kill ‘Em All Metallica-like album title track “Dead End.” Dead End’s third and latest single “Moment of Silence” is another Headbanger’s Ball-inspired ripper, centered around enormous power chords, howled vocals and a mosh pit friendly hook — but with a cinematic quality that belies the scuzz and grime. d

New Audio: Portland-based JOVM Mainstays R.I.P. Releases an Accessible, Anthemic and Sleazy New Ripper

With the release of their first two albums — 2016’s In The Wind and 2017’s Street Reaper — the Portland, OR-based doom metal act and JOVM mainstays R.I.P. quickly established their grimy, punishing, and depraved take on metal that they dubbed Street Doom. Now, that many of us are sheltering in place and maneuvering through a dystopian and kleptocratic hellscape, their work’s thematic concerns seems frighteningly prescient. 

Dead End, the Portland-based JOVM mainstays’ long-awaited third full-length album is slated for an October 9, 2020 release through RidingEasy Records. Dead End sees that be band going through a lineup change that has resulted in the addition of a more aggressive rhythm section — while drawing from a more diverse range of influences including John Carpenter films, grungiest professional wrestling and lo-fi hip-hop among others. Moving a bit further away from the influence of Pentagram and Saint Vitus, the album may be the most hook-driven of their growing catalog but while still thematically touching about death, insanity — and leather. Additionally, the material’s overall feel was inspired by West Coast tours with Electric Wizard and Red Fang and a month-long headlining tour of Europe. 

“Out of Time,” Dead End’s blistering first single is centered around Black Sabbath-like riffs, enormous arena rock friendly hooks, thunderous drumming and a sneering punk rock air. While still thematically focusing on the prototypical doom metal themes of death, insanity, sick societies on the verge of collapse and the like, “Out of Time” manages to be accessible without scraping off the sludge, slime and grime that has won them attention. 

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Blackwater Holylight Release a Shimmering, Shoegazer Take on Heavy Psych

Led by founding member Allison “Sunny” Faris (vocals, bass), the acclaimed Portland, OR-based heavy psych act Blackwater Holylight was formed after Faris’ previous band broke up as a way to begin experimenting with what her own version of “heavy” should and could be both sonically and emotionally — while celebrating vulnerability in all of its forms. The primary idea for the project was to have vulnerability be in the driver’s seat when it came to the creative process. And secondly, Faris, who was often the only female in many of her bands, desperately wanted to see how it was to work exclusively with women. 

Blackwater Holylight released their critically applauded self-titled, full-length debut last year, and as a result of extensive touring to support it, the band has managed to hone their sound and identity — with their sound evolving to the point that their live show has become about the slow build.  And as a heavy band, the members of the Portland-based JOVM mainstays sonically and structurally do something unlike their peers: their songs aren’t anchored to riffs, but rather riffs come and go in rippling and undulating waves that surface through material that’s generally meditative and entrancing. Additionally, the band focuses on building tension and intrigue through the song and its structure. 

Now, as you may recall, the band’s highly-anticipated sophomore album Veils of Winter is slated for an October 11, 2019 release through RidingEasy Records. The album finds the band with a different lineup — Faris (bass, vocals), Laura Hopkins (guitar/vocals) and Sarah McKenna (synths) along with the band’s newest members Mikayla Mayhew (guitar) Eliese Dorsay (drums) and perhaps as a result of their new lineup, their sound and writing process has changed quite a bit. “The process of this album was vastly different from our first record,” says Faris. “One, because we recorded it over the course of a few weeks, whereas the first record was over the course of about a year. And two, this album was a true collaboration between the five of us. Each of us had extremely equal parts in writing and producing, we all bounced ideas off each together, and we all had a say in what was going on during every part of the process.”

“One of our favorite things about this album is that because it was so collaborative, we didn’t compartmentalize ourselves into one vibe.” She continues. “It’s heavy, psychedelic, pop, shoegaze, doom, grunge, melodic and more. The whole process was extremely organic and natural for us, we were just being ourselves.”

While album single “Motorcycle”  featured fuzzy power chords, gorgeous melodies and a motorik groove and found the band crafting a song that was one part doom metal and one part shoegaze, the album’s latest single “Death Realms” is a decidedly straightforward, shoegazey affair centered around shimmering guitars, twinkling synths, propulsive drumming, ethereal vocals and a soaring hook. But the thing that “Death Realms” shares with its predecessor is that it’s an incredible nuanced song that you can sway and headband along to. 

Live Footage: Acclaimed Post-Rock Trio BRUTUS Performs “Sugar Dragon” at Handelsbeurs — Ghent, Belgium

Over the course of this year, I’ve written quite a bit about the Leuven, Belgium-based post-rock trio BRUTUS, and as you may recall, with the release of their full-length debut, 2017’s Burst, the Belgian trio, comprised of Stefanie Mannaerts (drums, vocals), Stijn Vanhoegaerden (guitar) and Peter Mulders (bass) quickly developed a national and international presence, despite the fact that they’ve achieved it with a sound shaped by necessity: Mannaerts adopted vocal duties because no one else would. Since Burst’s release, they’ve toured with JOVM mainstay Chelsea Wolfe, Thrice, Russian Circles, and played the major heavy EU festivals. Adding to a growing profile, Metallica‘s Lars Ulrich has proudly championed the Belgian trio.

Their Jesse Gander-produced sophomore album Nest was released earlier this year through Sargent House Records. And while the album finds the band making a concerted effort to write tight songs with an expanded sound, the album also finds the band’s Mannaerts fully embracing her dual roles as vocalist and drummer.  Thematically speaking, the material focuses on the path the trio have taken together to get to the euphoric highs of achieving a lifelong dream.But there’s underlying moments of deep, introspection, in which they all consider the individual choices they’ve made to get there — and the impact those choices had on their loved ones, and those who they’ve left behind.  And as a result, the material possesses a strangely uncomfortable yet necessary friction between wanting to continue their forward progression and a desire to maintain and cherish those connections to all that they love at home. But is that possible when you’ve taken such enormous risks to achieve something extraordinary? And when the things you’ve seen, done and experienced have become so different than those of your peers, can you keep that connection?

I previously wrote about three  album singles: “War,” a track that alternated between dreamy and ruminative showcase and aggressive and forceful thrash metal, with enormous, arena rock friendly hooks; “Cemetery,” a track that found the band effortlessly riding doom metal, thrash metal, shoegaze, hardcore punk and stoner rock; and the concise and force “Django.”  “Sugar Dragon,” Nest’s latest single continues a run of material that manages to simultaneously be intimate and deeply introspective and explosively cathartic; painterly and gorgeous shoegaze that feels like a painter’s brushstrokes across the canvas and pummeling metal with fiery guitar pyrotechnics. And much like its predecessors, the song captures the bleak and raw ache of taking stock of oneself and their lives — completely alone. 

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Blackwater Holylight Release a Trippy Headbanger

The acclaimed Portland, OR-based heavy psych act Blackwater Holylight was formed by founding member Allison “Sunny” Faris (vocals, bass) after her previous band broke up, as a way to begin experimenting with what her own version of “heavy” should and could be both sonically and emotionally — while celebrating vulnerability in all of its form. In fact, the primary idea for the project was to have vulnerability be in the driver’s seat when it came to the creative process. Throughout most of her musical career, Faris was often the only female in many of her bands and she desperately wanted to see how it was to work exclusively with women. 

The band released their critically applauded self-titled full-length debut last year. And after extensive touring to support the album, the members of the JOVM mainstay act honed their sound and identity, with their live set being about the slow build, as their sound has evolved a bit 

The band released their critically applauded self-titled full-length debut last year and after extensive touring to support the album, they’ve honed their sound and identity — with their live set being about the slow build, as their sound has evolved a bit. In fact, as a heavy band they do something unique: their songs aren’t anchored to riffs, but rather riffs come in and go in rippling waves that surface throughout material that’s generally meditative and entrancing. But they also focus on building tension and intrigue throughout the song. 

Slated for an October 11, 2019 release through RidingEasy Records, Blackwater Holylight’s highly-anticipated sophomore album Veils of Winter finds the band with a different lineup — Faris (bass, vocals), Laura Hopkins (guitar/vocals) and Sarah McKenna (synths) along with the band’s newest members Mikayla Mayhew (guitar) Eliese Dorsay (drums). And perhaps a result of the new lineup, the band’s sound and writing process have changed quite a bit. “The process of this album was vastly different from our first record,” says Faris. “One, because we recorded it over the course of a few weeks, whereas the first record was over the course of about a year. And two, this album was a true collaboration between the five of us. Each of us had extremely equal parts in writing and producing, we all bounced ideas off each together, and we all had a say in what was going on during every part of the process.”

“One of our favorite things about this album is that because it was so collaborative, we didn’t compartmentalize ourselves into one vibe.” She continues. “It’s heavy, psychedelic, pop, shoegaze, doom, grunge, melodic and more. The whole process was extremely organic and natural for us, we were just being ourselves.”

 “Motorcycle” Veils of Winter’s finds the band balancing fuzzy, power chords, gorgeous melodicism and a motorik groove to create a unique take on heavy music that’s one part doom metal, one part shoegaze that manages to reveal subtle nuances on multiple listeners while being headbang worthy. 

New Video: King Buffalo’s Trippy Animated Video for Prog Rock-Inspired “Quickening”

Comprised of Sean McVay (guitar, lead vocals), Dan Reynolds (bass) and Scott Donaldson (drums, vocals), the Rochester, NY-based trio King Buffalo began collaborating back in 2013 and with the release of a demo, several split releases, a handful of one-off singles plus an impressive live show, the Upstate New York-based trio quickly earned an international profile. With 2016’s self-recorded and self-produced, full-length debut Orion, the members of King Buffalo further cemented a growing reputation for a sound that meshed elements of heavy psych, stoner rock and the blues in a way that’s been compared favorably to Tool and Pink Floyd among others. 

The Rochester-based trio’s much-anticipated Ben McLeod-produced sophomore album Longing To Be The Mountain is slated for an October 12, 2018 release, and from the album’s shimmering and slow-burning first single “Quickening,” the band retains the heavy psych and stoner rock vibe that have won them national and international attention — but with a self-assured and expansive, prog rock sensibility. As the band’s Scott Donaldson explained to Loudwire, “‘Quickening’ bloomed organically during the writing process of the Longing To Be The Mountain album. We knew early on that we wanted an animated video to go along with it,” Donaldson continued, “and immediately asked our friend Mike Turzanski. The imagery and overall fluidity makes it a standout.” 

New Video: Chicago’s Ganser Releases Mischievous and Surreal Visuals for “Satsuma”

Over the past couple of months I’ve written quite a bit about the Chicago, IL-based post-punk act Ganser,  and with the release of their debut EP, This Feels Like Living, the members of the Chicago-based act received attention locally for an art rock-leaning post-punk/noise rock sound influenced by Sonic Youth and Magazine.  Now, as you may recall, the band’s full-length debut Odd Talk is slated for release later this month through No Trend Records, and the album’s material reportedly focuses on communication breakdowns, with the song’s narrators desperately seeking meaning in confusion and messiness, as though they were literally sorting through syllables and signals to find the right words to say what they wanted or needed to say.

“Satsuma,” Odd Talk‘s last official single will further cement their reputation for material that thematically can be grimly absurd yet comedic that points at the complexities and frustrations of human relationships paired with angular guitar chords and propulsive drumming that help evoke a sweaty, heart racing anxiety: the sort in which your thoughts are racing and pinballing within your head; but the difference here is that the song focuses on a weary reservation, on avoiding expectations and their inevitable heartache, of not showing your hand when things are uncertain.

Filmed by the renowned photographer Kirsten Micolli and directed and edited by the band, the recently released video for “Satsuma” follow a woman Kate Ziebart as she wanders a post-blizzard Chicago, who’s compelled to dance through the streets. Throughout the course of the video, the woman’s movement varies between graceful and frantic but she turns the mundane and routine to something altogether strange; in fact, her weirdness seems to be infectious, and everyone she passes begins to start acting as weirdly as she is — although the woman is actually completely unaware of her effect on her surroundings or on anyone else. 

Filmed by the renowned photographer Kirsten Miccoli in a post-blizzard Chicago earlier this year and self-directed and edited by the band, the video follows a woman (Kate Ziebart) as she wanders the city, compelled to dance, as she encounters each member of the band in turn as she goes. After being in Chicago, the video not only strikes me as only being possible in Chicago, it manages to evoke the accusatory and sarcastic nature of the song in a mischievously indirect fashion. 

Over the past couple of months I’ve written quite a bit about the Chicago, IL-based post-punk act Ganser,  and with the release of their debut EP, This Feels Like Living, the members of the Chicago-based act received attention locally for an art rock-leaning post-punk/noise rock sound influenced by Sonic Youth and Magazine.  Now, as you may recall, the band’s full-length debut Odd Talk is slated for release later this month through No Trend Records, and the album’s material reportedly focuses on communication breakdowns, with the song’s narrators desperately seeking meaning in confusion and messiness, as though they were literally sorting through syllables and signals to find the right words to say what they wanted or needed to say.

“Satsuma,” Odd Talk‘s last official single will further cement their reputation for material that thematically can be grimly absurd yet comedic that points at the complexities and frustrations of human relationships paired with angular guitar chords and propulsive drumming that help evoke a sweaty, heart racing anxiety: the sort in which your thoughts are racing and pinballing within your head; but the difference here is that the song focuses on a weary reservation, on avoiding expectations and their inevitable heartache, of not showing your hand when things are uncertain.

The band will be embarking on a tour to support their full-length debut and it includes an album release show at Chicago’s Empty Bottle on April 16, 2018 and two NYC area dates — April 27, 2018 at Alphaville and May 1, 2018 at Saint Vitus. 

Tour Dates
3/09 – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall (w/ Ought, Snail Mail)
3/28 – Chicago, IL – Beat Kitchen (w/ Shopping, Tyvek)
4/16 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle (Record Release Show)
4/25 – Detroit, MI – Outer Limits Lounge %
4/26 – Pittsburgh, PA – Howlers %
4/27 – Brooklyn, NY – Alphaville %
4/28 – Philadelphia, PA – Mothership %
4/29 – Providence, RI – Alchemy %
5/01 – Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus
5/02 – Baltimore, MD – Sidebar
5/03 – Richmond, VA – Flora
5/04 – North Carolina TBD
5/05 – Atlanta, GA – 529
5/06 – Memphis, TN – Bar DKDC
% – with Bloody Knives