Wednesday, March 29, 2017

THE LONG DARK ROAD - The Long Dark Road


Influenced by Deafheaven, The Long Dark Road’s four-song self-titled EP is the result of a series of events in Toronto musician Jeremy Cavan’s life, including debt, homelessness, and a divorce. The mix of black metal, punk and hardcore on this album gives into a touch of prog-type songs, at least in length with the title track alone surpassing the ten minute mark, and the shortest track is just shy of seven minutes long.

The lyrics are more geared toward political and societal topics than most metal bands and luckily even with the gruff and occasionally less than clean singing, you can still hear the words and see the anger and disgust that is being spit out. The songs are as heavy as the weight of the world's problems on their shoulders, but melodic and interesting, with the length of them not being a factor that impedes your enjoyment, in fact, the length seems perfect for each song, like a complete argument that needs to be heard. The mix is a bit dirty and gritty, but it suits the music and tone perfectly; who wants it all prettied up since it would take the intensity and immediacy of it away. The songs each have their own feel and have shredding guitar playing that really stands out, as well as the extended bits that show the more textured playing and at times softer sounds that the band can create and meld into a song that is both devastating and thrilling.

If you are looking for some straight-ahead metal, this may come as a shock, but the album has both beauty and anger that forge an alliance and make you want to come back to it time and time again. With only four songs, they have created an album that will become a constant player in your collection, and make you want to see what comes next.

-Rick Ecker

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

WINDHAND Announce Headlining European Tour Dates With Satan's Satyrs

Photo Credit: Ben Stas

Richmond, VA doomsters WINDHAND have announced a new run of headlining European tour dates this coming fall with fellow Virginia based group Satan’s Satyrs. The tour commences September 21st in Copenhagen, DK and runs till October 13th in Bristol, UK. The two bands will also do a short North American run preceding the European Tour.  A full listing of WINDHAND tour dates is available below.

WINDHAND Tour Dates:

--- All Dates 3/31 - 4/8 with Cough ---

Mar 31 Wellington, NZ San Fran
Apr 01 Auckland, NZ King’s Arm Tavern
Apr 02 Fortitude Valley, AUS Crowbar
Apr 05 Newtown, AUS Newton Social Club
Apr 06 Adelaide, AUS Fowlers Live
Apr 07 Melbourne, AUS Corner Hotel (+ Inverloch)
Apr 08 Perth, AUS Badlands

Apr 21 Portland, OR Mississippi Studios
Apr 22 Vancouver, BC Fortune Sound Club
Apr 23 Seattle, WA Neumos

--- All dates 5/17-5/25 with Satan's Satyrs ---

May 17 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts
May 18 Pittsburgh, PA Cattivo
May 19 Toronto, ON Horseshoe Tavern
May 20 Detroit, MI Loving Touch
May 21 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle
May 22 Minneapolis, MN 7th St. Entry
May 23 Milwaukee, WI Cactus Club
May 24 Indianapolis, IN The Hi-Fi
May 25 Columbus, OH Ace of Cups

Aug 18-20 Las Vegas, NV Psycho Las Vegas Festival

--- All dates 9/21 - 10/14  with Satan's Satyrs ---

Sep 21 Copenhagen, DK Loppen
Sep 22 Oslo, NO BLA
Sep 23 Stockholm, SE Debaser Strand
Sep 25 Helsinki, FI Kuudes Linja
Sep 27 Gothenburg, SE Pustervik
Sep 28 Hamburg, DE Hafenklang
Sep 29 Cologne, DE MTC
Sep 30 Wiesbaden, DE Kesselhaus
Oct 01 Leipzig, DE UT Connewitz
Oct 02 Berlin, DE Cassiopeia
Oct 03 Vienna, AT Arena
Oct 04 Munich, DE Feierwerk
Oct 05 Bologna, IT Freak-Out Club
Oct 06 Mezzago, IT Bloom Club
Oct 08 Paris, FR Stoned Gathering
Oct 09 London, UK The Borderline
Oct 10 Leeds, UK Brudenell
Oct 11 Glasgow, UK Audio
Oct 12 Manchester, UK Rebellion
Oct 13 Bristol, UK Exchange

Windhand Tour
Windhand Tour
WINDHAND are still touring in support of their critically-acclaimed 2015 full-length Grief's Infernal Flower, which was hailed by publications including NPR, Pitchfork and many more as one of the best metal albums of the year. Grief's Infernal Flower can be streamed and purchased at the band's Bandcamp page here.

Completing the collection! No Prayer through to Final Frontier album reissues coming this summer - all on black vinyl!

Parlophone Records will follow 2014’s reissue of the first eight IRON MAIDEN albums, which spanned the 1980s, with twelve brand new pressings of albums from the period 1990-2015 in heavyweight 180g black vinyl.

Unlike the 1980’s reissues which were cut from the original analogue master tapes, the audio on these releases has been cut from the high resolution remasters of 2015 when the Maiden catalogue was digitally upgraded. They will be packaged in identical artwork to the initial vinyl releases.

The records will be released chronologically across a three month period:

May 19th: No Prayer For The Dying / Fear Of The Dark / The X Factor / Virtual XI

June 23rd: Brave New World / Rock In Rio (Live) / Dance Of Death / A Matter Of Life And Death

July 21st: Death On The Road (Live) / Flight 666 (Live) / The Final Frontier / En Vivo! (Live)

As a bonus, the first two albums (No Prayer For The Dying & Fear Of The Dark) will also be made available in an exclusive Collector’s Box sized to house all 12 albums with additional space for fans to insert the latest Maiden studio album The Book Of Souls, which was released on triple black vinyl in 2015. The Collector’s Box will be a strictly limited edition and available while stocks last.

These high quality, black vinyls comprised of eight studio albums together with a specially selected choice of four live recordings from this period, completes the IRON MAIDEN album reissues series and offers Maiden fans the opportunity to own the band’s entire studio album legacy on vinyl simultaneously for the very first time.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Ripple Field Trip: The Meat Puppets at the Silverlake Echoplex

The best concert I have ever attended in my life was at UCLA’s Ackerman Union hall in 1985 – a trifecta never to be equaled in modern American rock – the Minutemen, followed by Meat Puppets, followed by Husker Du.  All 3 bands launched by landmark punk label SST earlier in the 80s, these 3 juggernauts all tore through spectacular material at the height of their respective games.  The Minutemen’s songs were maturing way beyond their 70 second sonic blurts into fully developed, politically charged rock n roll anthems from their double cd opus Double Nickels on the Dime; the Meat Puppets were touring to support their spectacular Up on the Sun album, where their trippy psychedelically tinged, rootsy punk coalesced into brilliance; and Husker Du were riding the crescendo of their creative peak, playing an endless parade of high quality songs from their stellar albums Zen Arcade and New Day Rising, and debuting new single Makes no Sense at All , foreshadowing a newfound power pop sensibility.

Where are they now?  Sadly we lost Minutemen guitarist and frontman D Boon to a tragic tour bus accident not a year later, the group disbanding immediately, and Husker Du dissolved a few years later after the brilliant Warehouse – Songs and Stories double album to leave an influential legacy without which we do not know a litany of high achieving bands that we take for granted.  But the Meat Puppets?  Well, they are not just still around, they are thriving and killing it live.  Having released over a dozen albums throughout their 3-decade plus career, they continue to tour regularly around the country, and their recent headlining stop at Silverlake’s Echoplex revealed a band that can still kick out the jams in most impressive fashion.  Choosing what seemed like one song from practically every record they’ve released, their extended jams on Up on the Sun’s enchanting instrumental “Seal Whales” and the particularly intense “Lake of Fire’ (made famous of course by Nirvana’s unplugged version) were breathtaking.

Hailing originally from Phoenix, what an apt synergy, because bass player Cris Kirkwood’s is truly one hell of a success story, having risen from the depths of heroin addiction and incarceration 10 years ago to take center stage as the far more animated of the two brothers, older brother Curt content to convey a chill vibe and focus on delivering his pleasantly quixotic lyrics and mindbending guitar solos.  It’s Cris whose elfish figure draws the eye’s attention, his good natured and quirky facial contortions keeping pace with his solid fretwork, blasting to smithereens the Entwistle/John Paul Jones-inspired theory that the bass player stands still like a steady ox caught in the vortex of hyperkinetic lead singers and uber type-A guitar heroes.  At his left flank on stage was yet another Kirkwood, young Elmo, whose long flowing locks and overall mojo clearly betrayed a family resemblance and conjured up images of his lineage from that concert decades ago.

On stage before the Meat Puppets was Ford Madox Ford, the new band from SoCal music scene veteran Chip Kinman, whose 1980s band Rank and File with (speaking of brothers) Tony made some noteworthy inroads into local lore with solid radio-friendly “cowpunk” tracks like “The Conductor Wore Black” and “Amanda Ruth”.  The new band sounded very accomplished indeed given their short history – after Chip playfully announced he was gonna play some punk, they launched into a mighty fine set of energetic blues and rockabilly-influenced rootsy rock that called to mind more “Brand New Cadillac”  than “White Riot”.  Look out for their debut release this summer on Porterhouse Records, recording as we speak.  

-Rhythm Slayer

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Watchers hit the road in support of their critically-acclaimed debut EP on Ripple Music

S.F. Bay Area rock heavyweights, The Watchers, hit the road this summer in support of their debut Ripple Music release, their "Sabbath Highway".

Starting this June, the "Sabbath Highway Tour" will see the band hitting the highways of the American heartland, crossing from their West Coast homes all the way to their  pinnacle stop at The Maryland Doom Fest #3, where they'll lay waste to waiting audiences along side such heavyweights as The Skull, Wo Fat, and  Bang.

 6/17 Nevada • Reno / Jub Jubs Thirst Parlor
 6/18 Utah • SLC / The Urban Lounge
 6/19 Colorado • Ft Collins / Surfside 7
 6/20 Kansas • Lawrence / Replay Lounge
 6/21 Illinois • Chicago / Reggies
 6/22 Indiana • South Bend / Smiths Downtown
 6/23 Ohio • Wapakoneta  / Route 33 Rhythm & Brews
 6/24 Maryland • Frederick / Cafe 611
      (Maryland Doom Fest)
 6/26 Oklahoma • Tulsa (TBA)
 6/27 Texas • San Antonio / Limelight
 6/28 Texas • Austin / The Lost Well
 6/29 Texas • El Paso / Rock House
 6/30 Arizona • Tempe / Yucca Tap Room

Before the Tour commences, The Watchers will enter the studio to record their next full length offering anticipated to be released by Ripple Music in Sept. 2017.

Finally, to rev up for the tour, The Watchers just released a new video from the "Sabbath Highway" EP, "Just A Needle."   Check it out and prepare for the Sabbath Highway!

Video Link!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Bandcamp Bonanza – March In And Out Like A Lion

The month of March has been a bruiser as customary with the weather. The” in like a lion out like a lamb” saying smacked the music world here on bandcamp rather inversely. Bandcamp pounced us like a lion the entire month with no signs of slowing down. Here are some stragglers I managed to dig up recently. I have been on vacation all week, so not a lot of new discovery, but with the internet and smart phones I am always just a click away from greatness. Check these bad boys out.

Familiars – This Water That is Warm (I Will Soon Join)
I was not familiar with the Familiars until a couple weeks ago. They popped up on the feed and it took me a while to push play. Probably due to the fact that their catalog was mainly 2-song singles and those are always a bit hit and miss. However, when I finally sat down and pushed play I was enamored with  delight.
For those unfamiliar with The Familiars, I'll tell you this much; this single is one of the gnarliest 2 song sequences I've heard all year. By gnarly I mean thick burly riffs, hazy psychedelic vocals and mind altering rhythm that demands repeat attention. Blown away.

Smokey Mirror – Smokey Mirror EP
One hell of an EP right here waveriders. Straight out of the heart of Texas, Smokey Mirror hammer us with one of the best EPs of the year so far.
Signature Texas blues distorted with desert psychedelics, and scorching with cactus fried vocal chops. The guitars jam with twisted rhythm, pulsate with fuzz drenched doom, and bewilder with an enchanting echo. I can’t wait to see where these guys go from here.
Book a show with them, grab the EP, and spread the word. This is hot shit.

Earth Witch – Out of the Shallow
These guys caught my ear with not only the intriguing artwork on display, obviously a David Paul Seymour piece, but the energy was present. The massive doom throbs like Sabbath at a blues fest. If an album could come close to resembling the tone on the first Sword album, ‘Out of the Shallow’ nails it. Probably what caught my ear initially and held my attention throughout. The vocals are both  burly and intoxicating without being overbearing, and the riffs are both weighty and bluesy bringing the sound full circle for fans of uber doom, and those that prefer a heavy psychedelic blues affair. There are various physical merch packages including the cassette tape which is actually the same price as the digital only. You are really missing out by not holding something by Earth Witch in your hand. It gets better with each listen as well.

Mosgila – Mosgila
This one came out of nowhere. A facebook recommendation by a trusted source and a push of the play button and I was sold. Based in Seattle, Washington, one can’t help but immediately look for a grunge influence. Although the grunge sound is not at the forefront of the scene these days, the Seattle climate always seems to invoke somewhat of a grungey tone. As the album plays through there is definitely a 90’s hard rock vibe going on. But rather than a clone of Stone Temple Pilots or Soundgarden, Mosgila creates more of a modern hard arena rock meets stoner metal. The vocals are the dividing factor that gives this one a nostalgic essence. The guitars are smooth, riffy, and melodic, and the tone screams 20th century Pacific Northwest stoner metal. I hear bits and pieces that remind me of post 2000 hard rock of the like of Tim Narducci of ‘The Watchers’ old band ‘Systematic’, which I’ve always loved. Check this out and give these guys some love. I think they’ve got something special going on here.

Sleeping Tigers – Ancient Request
Here we are with another 2-song set that had me completely sold. Straight out of Salt Lake City, UT, Sleeping Tigers roar at us with a fine demo output.
Consider my interest in full pique mode. Groove for days, riffs for miles, and the hooks catch you like Yogi Berra on a curve ball.

Ethiva – Sublime Island
Here is a band that is worth listening to. With a heavily progressive direction, Ethiva have released an album that will spin you into the abyss with layers of psychedelic infused kraut mixed with melodic strums of metallic force. I was blown away and still am with how much this band is able to impress. Take a listen for yourself. This one is available on vinyl and although I haven’t pulled the trigger yet, it is high on the list of priorities as it’s an absolutely gorgeous album. Also, their debut is stunning and available on bandcamp as well.

Regulus – Quadralith
Last but not least we have the brand new full length album by Regulus, whom I’ve featured on the series before. The new album was high on my priority list, and although I can’t afford the vinyl at the moment the music will certainly justify a purchase if you haven’t already.
Fuzzy layers of heavy blues build within strapping vocal chops and stoner-fueled groove. Regulus have arrived by way of Quadralith with a 10-song set of powerhouse, riff-driven heavy rock n roll.

March is always a strong month straddling the winter and spring divide taking us from a blustery cold front to fresh and airy pastures. The campgrounds will soon be green as the rivers of music begin to rise with runoff creating waves of sounds for you all to ride. See you next time.

-The Huntsman

Friday, March 24, 2017

Second Coming of Heavy Chapter Five Lands This Saturday, and Mothership, Freedom Hawk, and Gozu Back in Stock!!!

It's here!  The next edition of The Second Coming of Heavy: Chapter Five - featuring Ripple favorites Desert Suns and Chiefs.  All brand new, never before released songs that rip with stoner/desert power.  Will be available in all the versions you've come to know and love, The Tricolor swirled with white splatter Resurrection Edition, The individually numbered oxblood in clear color in color with black splatter Risen OBI, and the milky clear/oxblood splattered Ascension Edition.   Only 100 pressed of each edition with no repress.  Jump onboard the series that many are calling the best "Split series in the heavy underground."   On sale Saturday 25th, 7 am PST.
Mothership "High Strangeness"  released last week and has catapulted the band to the upper echelons of the heavy underground.  The limited editions of the LP sold out in under 24 hours, but fret not!  We always keep some in reserve for lost/damage replacement and we'll be releasing these, reserve 7" Crown of Lies, and test pressings in just one week.  So stay tuned.  Meanwhile, black vinyl and CD are available right now in the shop. 
Back in stock!!  We sold out of all limited color, test pressings and black vinyl (even sold out of CD's!) in less than a month, so here's great news.  The debut album by legendary heavy rockers, Freedom Hawk is back in stock.  Sunlight finds the band making their debut Ripple release and brims with the killer riffage that Freedom Hawk are world-known for.  In the shop now in LP and CD.
Another one that sold out quickly, and again we're thrilled to let you know that this baby is back in stock. "Revival" by Gozu, their Ripple Music debut, broke the band to their biggest audience  yet.  On most sites end-of-year-best-of lists, nobody does it like Gozu.  Intense riffing, killer melodies and those perfect soulful vocals.  Back in stock in vinyl and CD.
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