Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Marillion From A Swedebeast's Point Of View

Marillion - This Strange Engine

By the time Marillion released ‘This Strange Engine’ I had stepped away from them completely. Sure, I saw ads here and there for the album but sadly my interest in these amazing guys was gone. It probably took 8 long years before I listened to it and duly kicked myself – again – for my stupidity, because it is really good. It might not hit the heights of other Marillion albums, but it is very good nonetheless. And the song ‘Estonia’ alone is worth it’s weight in gold, but more on that later. We all change through the years, whether we like it or not, so who knows what my reaction to ‘This Strange Engine’ would have been back then if I had given it a shot. Of course, we will never know, however I really like this wax a lot nowadays. And that’s what matters, right?

There’s a big acoustic guitar influence on opener ‘Man Of A Thousand Faces’ helping the song to keep a dreamy vibe to it. You know, it feels lofty and soaring and kind of relaxing. Backed smoothly by Messieurs Kelly, Trewavas and Mosley, Rothery’s acoustical prowess is beautiful, while Hogarth guides us through the time of Man, basically. He shows there’s a common thread that runs through centuries and cultures which really doesn’t differ, and subsequently hasn’t changed much through the years. ‘One Fine Day’ is slightly more electric in approach but it is sad and mournful dealing with regret and missed opportunities due to wishing your life away. Instead of jumping on a chance, you let everything slip by and suddenly it’s too late to do anything. ‘Eighty Days’ is a more upbeat composition. It is still heavy on the acoustic guitar but being a homage to the band’s supporters who travels far and wide under all kinds of circumstances to attend their shows. Not only that though, it speaks of the dullness of being on the road, how mind-numbing it can be. But come stage time seeing all those happy, excited faces in the crowd blows away every ounce of tediousness. ‘Estonia’ is one of the most powerful and emotional songs I’ve heard from any band ever. It’s a haunting, yet beautiful song composed in memory of the 852 passengers who tragically perished when the ferry, MS Estonia, sank in the Baltic Sea on route from Tallinn, Estonia, to Stockholm Sweden, September 28th 1994. The interaction between especially Rothery and Kelly brings out the nautical aspects amazingly well. This adds to the heart-break you feel throughout as Hogarth churns out the horrors the passengers must have felt. At the same time it feels like the band offers some kind of solace because these people will never be forgotten.

Very sparse musically, ‘Memory Of Water’ is sombre and lamenting. It could be about someone who is about to leave his/hers earthly existence reflecting back on what has been, if things back home are still the same or if changes has occurred. It could also be about mankind and what has happened to it through the years. Regardless, this is a beautiful bleak song. Released back in 1997, the song ‘An Accidental Man’ couldn’t be more poignant and on point. The heaviest song on ‘This Strange Engine’, it builds up gradually which adds to the anger felt in the lyrics. And speaking of which, the words penned are so up-to-date dealing with people who are duped and shaped into thinking and acting a certain way. The frustration and anger comes out as the protagonist realizes what he’s been through, but by then it’s all too late. Call it sheep-mentality, if you will, but this joint Hogarth/Helmer effort could be taken straight from 2018, where governments and media wants to shape everyone into robots basically. You can’t have a Marillion album without a curveball or an odd one out, so to speak. ‘Hope For The Future’ is definitely this coming on strong with a blend of calypso, rock and a ton of fun! It probably confused supporters upon it’s release but works perfectly in breaking the mold, allowing everyone involved a moment to breathe, recuperate and have fun. The fantastic title track ends this affair and it covers all the emotions and feelings there is during the 30:24 it lasts. Written about giving up on your dreams to provide for and protect your young family, it is intertwined with a child’s memory of seeing your parent doing this. Almost 4 minutes in the music kicks in with a heavy riff from Rothery and the band cuts corners before slowing down again, hence the great display of emotions and feelings. The long play time is only available on the European version is a trick as it actual ends at 15.34, but make it through 15 minutes of silence and you’ll be treated to a surprise. I won’t tell you what it is but, dear wave rider, if you’re a Marillion supporter you’ll love it.

‘This Strange Engine’ was a first for the band. The ties with EMI had been cut and in came Castle, which probably wasn’t the wisest move at first. At least not in a mainstream point of view. Creatively it was a deft move because it is so easy to hear the freedom in the music. A big part of the followers were positive and it sold decently. In hindsight it also sowed the seeds to the extremely tight knit relationship Marillion formed with their supporters which has been so helpful on future adventures. To tie back to an earlier statement, I don’t know how I would have reacted to this release had I listened to it back then. All I know is I really like it, probably a lot more than I would have back in 1997.


Monday, March 19, 2018

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY Announces Latin American Headlining Dates + Second Leg Of North American Tour With Black Label Society And Eyehategod

[Photo by Dean Karr]

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY is pleased to announce a six-date Latin American tour this May. The trek, slated to run from May 12th to May 19th, includes performances in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Mexico. The band will then perform several European festival dates in June before returning to North America to kick off the second leg of their tour supporting Black Label Society this summer. Set to commence July 14th in Cadott, Wisconsin, the tour will make its way through nearly two dozen cities, coming to a close on August 11th in Sayreville, New Jersey. Additional support will again be provided by Eyehategod. See all confirmed dates below.

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY continues to tour in support of their critically lauded No Cross No Crown full-length, released in January 12th via Nuclear Blast Entertainment. Captured in North Carolina with longtime producer John Custer, the record marks the first studio recording with vocalist/guitarist Pepper Keenan in over a decade and, earning the #67 spot on the Billboard Top 200 Chart, #12 on the Billboard Top Current Albums Chart, and #3 on the Top Hard Music Albums Chart upon its first week of release, is the highest charting album of the band's career!

No Cross No Crown is available on CD, digital, vinyl, and cassette formats. Various order bundles are available at nuclearblast.com/coc-nocrossnocrown.

Watch the band's video for "The Luddite" as well as their animated clip for "Wolf Named Crow" HERE.

5/12/2018 Vic Club - Sao Paulo, BR
5/13/2018 Teatro Odisseia - Rio De Janeiro, BR
5/15/2018 Uniclub - Buenos Aires, AR
5/16/2018 Blondie - Santiago, CL
5/18/2018 Escena - Monterrey, MX
5/19/2018 Circo Volador - Mexico, MX
End Tour
6/09/2018 Download - Donnington Park, UK
6/18/2018 Orion - Rome, IT w/ Converge
6/19/2018 VAZ Hafen - Innsbruck, AU w/ Converge
6/20/2018 La Belle Electrique - Grenoble, FR
6/22/2018 Hellfest - Clisson, FR
6/23/2018 Copenhell - København, DK
6/24/2018 Graspop - Dessel, BE
w/ Black Label Society, Eyehategod:
7/14/2018 Cadott Rock Fest - Cadott, WI
7/15/2018 Inkcarceration Music Festival - Mansfield, OH
7/16/2018 Monarch Music Hall - Peoria, IA *
7/17/2018 The Forge - Joliet, IL *
7/18/2018 20 Monroe Live - Grand Rapids, MI
7/20/2018 Bourbon Theatre - Lincoln, NE
7/21/2018 Diamond Ballroom - Oklahoma City, OK
7/22/2018 Cotillion Ballroom - Wichita, KS
7/23/2018 The District - Sioux Falls, SD
7/25/2018 The Clyde Theatre - Wayne, IN
7/27/2018 Si Hall At The Fairgrounds - Syracuse, NY
7/28/2018 Impact Music Festival - Bangor, ME
7/29/2018 The Webster - Hartford, CT*
7/30/2018 The Queen - Wilmington, DE
8/01/2018 The Mill & Mine - Knoxville, TN
8/02/2018 The Fillmore Charlotte - Charlotte, NC
8/03/2018 Phase 2 - Lynchburg, VA
8/05/2018 The Norva - Norfolk, VA
8/07/2018 Rebel - Toronto, ON
8/08/2018 Metlus - Montreal, QC
8/09/2018 Sherman Theater - Stroudsburg, PA
8/10/2018 Paramount - Huntington, NY
8/11/2018 Starland Ballroom - Sayreville, NJ
* No Eyehategod

"The record is filled with the kind of Sabbath meets Black Flag meets Lynyrd Skynyrd jams that were so infectious and wildly influential back when Bill Clinton seduced interns...COC doesn't try to change direction but instead revisits the approach that made the Keenan-fronted version so successful: powerful hooks, instrumental asides that will remind you of Sabbath's 'Planet Caravan' and a rich use of textures and dynamics..." - Decibel

"...burly, surly and southern-fried - basically, everything fans could hope for." - Revolver

"... these motherfuckers have been at it forever, and they've just made their best album in twenty years." - Team Rock

"...a release that proves that the gentlemen are back on their game and ready to rumble." - Blabbermoutth

"...powerful and unstoppable as an avalanche." - Kerrang!

"...so good it should really be toured in full, played from top to bottom as a complete movement of music." - PureGrainAudio

"...undoubtedly one of finest releases in CORROSION OF CONFORMITY's storied career." - Pop Matters

"...where 35-plus years from getting started, most artists still active have long since slid into a mediocrity of form in playing to what's expected of them, COC here sound reinvigorated and offer a reminder to all willing to hear it of a big part of what made them who they are in the first place." - The Obelisk

"... a rare example of a classic line-up coming back to make music and killing it in the process." - Sputnik Music

SAM LEVIN - First World Problems


Sam Levin just released his new single, "First World Problems" from his upcoming full-length album, I Am. When he was five years old, Levin began playing guitar, a Fender Mini Strat, and at age 12, he dropped his debut EP, I'm In Here. His music style is a mixture of Indie, acoustic, and a little rock.

Sounding both retro ‘90s and modern at the same time, he infuses a slick sound with fun, relate-able lyrics that make for a track that stands up to repeated listens. The song is super catchy and will get you singing along after the first listen.

If this is any indication of the songs on his upcoming album, then we have a killer set to listen to and play over and over. His talent is well beyond his years and that’s an awesome thing to hear.

-Rick Ecker

Sunday, March 18, 2018

A Ripple Conversation With Gregg Emley Of Holy Grove

When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.

What have been your musical epiphany moments?

I have really distinct memories of hearing Master of Puppets for the first time in 88/89 or so, followed shortly after by hearing Paranoid for the first time. I already loved music at that time, but I was more into U2, The Cure, R.E.M....more "college radio" type stuff like that. I remember hearing Battery and thinking it was the heaviest thing I'd ever heard. I had never heard a palm muted guitar, aggressive sounding vocals, double kick...it was definitely transformative. Of course after that I couldn't go back to my U2 records. My memory of hearing the song Paranoid is also similar...My cousin called me and was like "you have to hear this band!" and he held the phone up to the speaker and played it to me over the phone. I begged my mom to take me to buy the tape the next day.

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

For us, it's usually a riff or two that will get the ball rolling. Trent (guitar) or I will come with an idea or two, and we'll talk about what we're envisioning the song to be a little bit, and bring it to practice. Once the song gets to closer to having a solid structure, Andrea starts working on melodies and lyrics. It's a pretty constant process of collaboration across the whole band before we feel like a song is ready.

Who has influenced you the most?

For me personally as a musician I'd say Cliff Burton. He made me want to play heavy rock bass on a Rickenbacker with a fuzz pedal. I'm still not sure there is much better than Anesthesia turned up really loud. If I had to pick a band, I'd say Rush. Not that they influence our sound necessarily, but the way they have stuck to their vision, they aren't afraid to try new things with their music, and they've maintained a friendship and sense of humor for 40 years. That's tough to do.
We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?

We're from Portland, OR. I don't know if that necessarily reflects in our music so much as I am hesitant to say that there is a specific "Portland" sound. I think the biggest way the city seeps in to our music is through the supportive community of artists and musicians we're surrounded by. There is very little competition between bands, everyone is happy to see everyone, and the city is small enough that you know everyone in the scene and give em all hugs and high fives when you see them at shows.

Where'd the band name come from?

Our name was chosen after a long deliberation process. We didn't have a name for the first few months of a band. I think we really wanted to find something that was unique, was appropriately heavy sounding and would look good on a flier. It was definitely one of those things that when it was suggested we all instantly said "that's it!" Total agreement across the board after all having different opinions and suggestions for months.

You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?

Good one! I'm a huge comic/sci-fi fan so....let's say the Swamp Thing movie they'll end up re-making someday, or perhaps if they ever re-make Dune. Those would probably be the top 2. Maybe if they ever make a movie out of Samuel Delany's Dhalgren. That would be fun.

You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?).  You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?

Hmmm...that's a tough one. My first instinct is to say a Rush song, because those guys always have interesting ideas in the music and the lyrics, so there would be plenty of material to work with and write about....How about By-Tor and The Snow Dog. Definitely my favorite of their pre-2112 stuff. You can really hear them pushing themselves and their sound and I think it's the first glimpse of what they would eventually turn in to.

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

I'm probably going to jinx myself, but I haven't had too many of those, thankfully. One that kind of sticks out is when we toured Europe last year, the 2nd or 3rd show of the tour was on a beautiful beach somewhere in Italy. They served us this amazing 3 course meal,  bottles of wine, etc and they put us up in an amazing bed and breakfast type place. We were all talking that night about how great Europe treated bands, how great being on tour was....next night we slept in a punk squat and I woke up in the morning with kitty litter stuck to my face and in my hair...

You're just about to hit the road, tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans?

The live show for us is the most important thing. We all love seeing live music, and being blown away by a good live band is one of the more rewarding experiences I feel like you can have with music. We strive to bring energy and urgency to our live show, and do our best to put on a good show. I think it's important for fans to see you working up there. No one likes a band that just stands there looking bored.

What makes a great song?

Hmmm...that's hard to say...I'm inclined to say it's a "you know when you hear it" type thing. Of course, for me, I love good riffs, good feel, powerful vocals, big drums... but I feel there is something undefinable to a "great" song.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

My first band basically consisted of us playing Ramones and Minor Threat songs really poorly, and I'm not sure we even knew a whole song from beginning to end, so we'd basically only play the parts we could figure out. We had an one or two originals that were along those same lines...basically re-written versions of Blitzkrieg Bop.

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

I am extremely proud of all of our new songs, and that's not just a phoned in answer. We've put in a tremendous amount of work in on them, and tried our best to really take our writing to a new level. It's hasn't always been an easy process, but it's been very rewarding for all of us, I think.

Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?

I gotta go with Yob. They just keep getting better and better. I love how they progress a little with each record, but still have that unmistakable Yob sound. No one better, in my opinion. For more singer/songwriter stuff, Joanna Newsom. Her record Ys is truly a masterpiece. Music, lyrics, arrangement, clarity of vision...it's all there.

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

I'm a vinyl guy. Nothing compares to holding the cover in your hand while listening, looking at big full size artwork, reading along with the lyrics.

Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice.

Both! Two great tastes that taste great together. I think Bob Dylan said that.

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

We're based out of Portland, OR. My two most frequented shops in town are Crossroads, which is great for back-filling your collection and finding all the older records you need to complete and add to it, and for newer stuff I go to 2nd Avenue Records. Great shop for metal/punk records!

What's next for the band?

We're headed out on a West Coast tour from 3/15-3/26. We'll be playing a bunch of new songs before we head in to the studio to record them in April. After it comes out we hope to hit the east coast and then make our way back to Europe.

Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?

Thanks for reading! Come see us on tour and we'll give you high fives. Cheers!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Bandcamp Bonanza – Keeping The Fire Stoked

The weather outside has been either unseasonably warm, or brutally cold depending on what part of the northern hemisphere you reside. Out west, its finally getting cold and the music is keeping us warm. This week we feature some cream of the crop albums available right now at bandcamp.

Merlin – The Wizard
Merlin are a band who isn't afraid to mix it up. Each album brings a new twist of jazzy occult doom. The latest, out on vinyl via The Company, is a spellbinding listen that successfully incorporates the saxophone into the potent elixir of molten stone.

Flying Hair – Night Fight
This one grabs you by the psych and drags you through the SoCal slums, rattling punk rock anthems like vintage Rannalli trucks scaping an empty pool. The bass tones tweak like methamphetamine on a Friday afternoon as the guitar tones echo against demented vocal swoonage. Must have. Grab the cassette tape, it’s the same price as just digital including shipping. I think Riding Easy Records has the vinyl as well.

Wicked Wizzard – Wicked Wizzard
When you play a new album on bandcamp nonstop for the good part of the morning, there must be something special. Exactly what happened when the recommendation for this new album came across the feed. The artwork screams for a listen and by golly the tunes are wicked as hell. Piercing riffs impode with engaging vocals, and proto-tinged doom metal harmonies. It’s albums like these that keep me excited about the underground heavy rock scene. Dive in.

Naxatras – III
I predict this one will go down in many listener’s books as top albums released this year. Naxatras has released a monster of an album, potentially their best yet. Vocals on half the tracks where the other half take you on a space guitar odyssey across the galaxy.

Last of the Easy Riders – Unto the Earth
These guys are great. The new album sounds a little more country than their last one, with no less 60’s hippy psych effect and classic rock twang. Keep your ears on these lads, as Unto the Earth combines a mean steel guitar with a hippy harmony and a cosmic Americana twist.

Sleeping Village – Among the Gods
This one hung out in my wishlist for far too long. At only $3, its cheaper than that overpriced latte that is gone in 60 seconds. Sleeping Village is here to slumber with its dazzling vocals and thundering riffs. Short but mighy release. Don’t sleep on this one.

King Chiefs – Blue Sonnet
Formerly just plain old Chiefs, King Chiefs are back with a brand new album. Known for their catchy groove and toe tapping stoner rock vocals, Blue Sonnet have taken their reputable riffs to a new level. Not reinventing the wheel by any means, but King Chiefs just know how to write a catchy groove. Undeniably catchy through and through.

Painted Doll – Painted Doll
You really only have to look at the cover and see that this is being put out by Tee Pee Records to have confidence that this is quality. Just read the intro on their page. Don’t be scared, this is far from death metal, but the band members include Comedian / guitar shredder Dave Hill (Valley Lodge, Cobra Verde) and heavy metal legend Chris Reifert (Autopsy, Death). I for one found this to be very much enjoyable.

H.C. McEntire – Lionheart
Why wouldn’t I end this thread with a pure and honest country western album of the highest caliber? Some of you might know H.C. McEntire for her involvement in the indie rock band Mount Mariah on Merge Records. She decided being cool wasn’t cool enough and put out one of the best country albums I’ve heard all year. Not many in the underground country circles is talking about this yet, so be one of the first to tell your friends and gain that street cred that you deserve.

-The Huntsman

Friday, March 16, 2018


(All photos courtesy of Shane Gardner - Rock N' Roll Socialite)

Foghound (left to right in photo):

Chuck Dukeheart, III - Drums, Voals
Dee Settar - Guitar, Vocals
Bob Sipes - Guitar, Vocals
Adam Heinzmann - Bass

Maryland Doom & Stoner Rock stalwarts Foghound have recently put the finishing touches on their third full-length offering, entitled "Awaken To Destroy".  Their new album is set for a September release via Ripple Music.  With delays due to health scares and the tragic murder of bassist Rev. Jim Forrester in December 2017, the band has chosen to honor Rev.'s wishes and will "Keep On Shoveling".


    Artist Name: Foghound
    Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
    Album Title: Awaken To Destroy
    Official Release: September 2018
    Label: Ripple Music
    Genre/Style: Heavy Rock, Stoner Rock, Doom Metal
    Previous Releases: Quick, Dirty, & High (2014);  The World Unseen (2016)

Maryland Doom & Stoner Rock stalwarts Foghound have recently put the finishing touches on their third full-length offering, entitled "Awaken To Destroy".  Their new album is set for a September 2018 release via Ripple Music.

Work began on the album in November 2016, with producer Frank Marchand (The Obsessed / Borracho) at the helm.  Numerous delays along the way sidelined production due to health issues, professional and personal commitments, and then the tragic murder of bassist Rev. Jim Forrester in December 2017, just days after completing recording of the basic tracking.

"After seeing Jim claw and fight his way back after a major health scare and being in a coma last summer, only to be senselessly taken away from us all in this way, it really hit everyone like a ton of bricks", says drummer / vocalist Chuck Dukeheart.

"The outpouring of love and support from everyone, and especially our friends and family in the Maryland Doom scene, was overwhelming.  We can't thank everyone enough for helping us, Jim's wife Tina, and family to get through this terrible time."

Reverend Jim Forrester, 1974 - 2017.

Among the multiple benefit events and fundraisers for the family, Ripple Music released as a benefit single the new Foghound track "Keep On Shoveling" on January 1st, via Bandcamp as a "Name Your Price" download purchase.

Written with a theme of perseverance in the face of adversity, the song features a spoken word portion from Rev. Jim. The song has taken on a new meaning for the band after his untimely passing.

Another new track, "Return To Dragontooth", will appear on an upcoming benefit compilation, due out from Salt Of the Earth Records.

Foghound emphasizes, "One thing that became apparent was that we all knew, and Jim said as much when he was laid up in the hospital last summer, was that he wouldn't want us to stop.  In his words - 'We still have shit to do.'"

After taking time to regroup, this February saw Foghound back in the studio to wrap up tracking of vocals, guitars, and keyboards.  They have finally been able to complete mixing to get it ready for release.

Along with wrapping up the album, the band got themselves back in their rehearsal space, and have recruited long time friend of the band, bassist Adam Heinzmann (Internal Void, Pentagram), into the fold.
The band stated, "It was a very heavy, emotional time for us, to be back in the jamroom without Jim, but Adam really stepped up in a big way.  His enthusiasm, preparedness, and love for the music really helped us get back to why we all play music.  We were able to have fun again."

Foghound is set to return to the stage with notable upcoming appearances at the New England Stoner and Doom Fest at Altone's in Jewett City, Connecticut on April 21st, and The Maryland Doom Fest at Cafe 611 in Frederick, Maryland on June 23rd.

"We are looking forward to being a part of these stellar lineups and to play these new songs live.  We can't wait for this monster of an album to be unleashed at the end of the summer!"

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The First Ever Official Ripple Music SXSW Showcase Happens Tomorrow!!!!


No Badge needed!  $7 at the Door

Date: 16th March 2018

Valhalla (710 Red River Street, Austin TX)

Featuring: Mothership, Wo Fat, The Watchers, Blackwulf (with special guest), Steak, and Salem's Bend

► Play / Embed – Ripple Official SXSW ‘Spotify Playlist

Ripple Music is thrilled to announce our first ever, official SXSW Showcase! This year’s event is presented in association with Boss Tweed Backline. Six bands will fill the stage at Valhalla on Red River, bringing on some of the very best heavy psych, stoner and doom on the planet.  And be sure not to miss our very special guest, Geof O'Keefe, founding member of Pentagram and Bedemon, who'll storm the stage with Blackwulf, where he'll bring his searing lead guitar to songs off the band's just released new album. 

S C H E D U L E:

Doors open 7:30 pm

Salems' Bend


Blackwulf (with Geof O'Keefe)

The Watchers

Wo Fat



Facebook Event:

Download Event Sampler:

Ripple Music is widely considered one of the world's leading purveyors of heavy psych, stoner, doom and heavy rock.  You can stay up to date with all the happenings at the Ripple Music Facebook page and website or bandcamp.
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