Tuesday, November 21, 2017

BLACK WIZARD: Heavy Metal/Stoner Rock Collective To Release Livin' Oblivion Full-Length This February Via Listenable Records; Artwork And Track Listing Revealed




Canadian heavy metal/stoner rock collective BLACK WIZARD will release their brand new full-length Livin' Oblivion this February via France's Listenable Records. Their second release on Listenable and fourth album overall was produced and engineered by Michael Kraushaar in Vancouver, BC, and comes sheathed in the cover art of renowned Berlin, Germany-based illustrator Eliran Kantor (Testament, Crowbar, Satan).

Livin' Oblivion centers itself on the obliteration or slow decay of one's self, morals, and life as we know it. "We are living in an age where the powers of the World are taking steps backwards and moving away from a positive future," the band elaborates. "There is a large number of disenfranchised youth and young adults that would rather live their lives in oblivion -- drinking, drugs, partying etc. -- than chasing any kind of future or dreams, simply because the rest of the world seems to be falling apart around them." 

Further info on BLACK WIZARD's Livin' Oblivion, including final release date, teaser tracks, and preorders, to be released in the coming weeks. Stand by.

Livin' Oblivion Track Listing:
1. Two Of These Nights
2. Feast Or Famine
3. James Wolfe
4. Livin Oblivion
5. Cascadia
6. Portraits
7. Poisoned Again
8. Heavy Love
9. Eternal Illusion

Hailing from Vancouver, BC, BLACK WIZARD was forged in 2009 between high-school friends. Some years and personnel changes later, the band is going stronger than ever. Founding members vocalist/guitarist Adam Grant and drummer Eugene Parkomenko were both working underwhelming construction jobs at the time, passing the days to the sounds of Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple, Witch, and Electric Wizard. Today Parkomenko and Grant are accompanied by guitarist Danny Stokes and basisst Evan Joel. Having followed a true DIY aesthetic, the band has released three full-length LPs along with a 7" single independently and sold over five thousand copies worldwide. In classic WIZ fashion, Livin' Oblivion has evolved from their previous efforts boasting a bigger, heavier, sharper, and louder approach than ever before. Faster thrash elements have been added, while staying true to that sultry, Thin Lizzy-esque twin lead vibe throughout.

Since their first Listenable album release, New Waste, in early 2016, the band has toured non-stop including a Canadian mini-tour with Red Fang, a six-week stadium tour with Killswitch Engage and Volbeat, a month-long US tour supporting Brant Bjork and Royal Thunder, a month-long North American tour supporting Weedeater, and so much more. At home on the road, BLACK WIZARD is ready to take to the streets again kicking 2018 off with their fourth European run.

BLACK WIZARD is:
Adam Grant - vocals/guitar
Eugene Parkomenko - drums
Danny Stokes - guitar
Evan Joel - bass




Doomstress To Release Second Rite EP via No Slip Records on December 1st!




Texas doom metallers Doomstress are set to release their new EP, The Second Rite on CD via No Slip Records on December 1st.  The EP contains remixed versions from the original, very limited self release and 7" DHU single.  The EP also features the new song "Bitter Plea" which was recorded at the end of the Wicked Summer tour and featuring additional rhythm guitar by guitarist Joe Fortunato (Sparrowmilk/Venomin James/ex-Ancient VVisdom).  The artwork was done by renown psychedelic artist, Goatess Doomwych.


Song List for The Second Rite EP CD via No Slip Records:
1-Way of the Mountain
2-Bitter Plea
3-Rainbow Demon*
4-Sleep Among the Dead
5-Wicked Woman**(7" version: CD only bonus)

*Uriah Heep cover 1972
**Coven cover 1969

Monday, November 20, 2017

FRACKTURA - Oculus



Self-released

This progressive rock trio from Cincinnati, OH features Karis Tucker (voice), André Machado (8-string guitar, bass), and Henry Conde (synth, piano). Guest musicians include Julio Oliveira on drums, Ander Peterson on saxophone, Soojin Kim on piano, and with lyrics by Diogo Oliveria. With 2016 being the official start to the band, this new EP continues on and expands from the first single “Reality.”

Oculus is meant to be listened to in one sitting to absorb its power and meaning with the main theme being about reconciling the individual’s outer persona with their inner self running through the four songs on the EP.  Opener “You” starts acapella and then the piano comes in to make a song that reminds me of a Depeche Mode quiet piece. “Gold Spectrum” is an avant garde jazz piece with wailing and squawking sax and discordant sounds that bring to mind the Contortions. “The Fear Peddler” has a more strait forward sound than the previous song and adds some interesting spaciness in the sound, kind of like drifting in the sky high above the earth. Finishing with “Identidade,” a quiet, yet powerful song that has sweet vocals and a haunting piano that grabs your ears and pulls you into the depth of the song.

A very interesting EP that will have you putting on your headphones to listen to so that you don’t miss one bit of sound that they have produced here. From beauty to quirky and back to beauty all in under fifteen minutes, and fifteen minutes that you will no doubt be listening to again and again.

-Rick Ecker

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Ripple Music releases the self-titled album by Heavy Rockers, Freedom Hawk




It's finally here!!  Out of print for years, Ripple Music is proud to unleash the self-titled album by Stoner/Doom legends Freedom Hawk!  Unavailable on vinyl for years, we'll be releasing two editions, the "Red Freedom" Limited Edition milky clear vinyl with Red and Gold splatter, and the World-wide "Midnight Black" Edition.  "Red Freedom" limited to only 80 copies available, so you may want to hurry.  CD digipack also available.

All editions on sale now at www.ripplemusic.bigcartel.com/products and be sure to check for digital and vinyl over at www.ripplemusic.bandcamp.com.

Wrapped in core metal tones with slight psychedelic edges Freedom Hawk’s driving beat and heavy guitars offer the kind of timeless vocals that gave light to the dawn of the new and heavy revival.

“Freedom Hawk, for instance, is the soundtrack to cold kegs, warm weather, and backyard barbecue. Jams like “On the Other Side” and “My Road” were made for: worshipping at the Super Fuzz altar. James Gang riffs groove it up behind singer T.R. Morton’s excellent Ozzy/Pepper Keenan impression throughout seven songs of bong-loaded bliss.” --- Invisible Oranges
Freedomhawkcover.jpg
Ripple Music, based in California, is widely regarded as one of the world's leading purveyors of Heavy Psych, Stoner, Doom, and Heavy Rock.   All releases are available world wide through our distributors and the Ripple website.  Check us at www.ripple-music.com

Friday, November 17, 2017

Ripple Music sets December 8th, 2017 as official release date for Switchblade Jesus / Fuzz Evil "Chapter 7: The Second Coming of Heavy" split!




Fuzz Evil:
Formed in 2014, Fuzz Evil is a chug-heavy 3 Piece that tames the fuzziest guitar and bass tones on the planet and wields them to blast a monolithic speaker-ripping fuzzapocaplyse for your ears and soul. Raw and dirty in "Stooges-like" fashion with soaring soulful vocals. Fuzz Evil released their first single, “Glitterbones” on a 7” split with the California trio Chiefs on Battleground records in 2014. In 2016 they followed up the single with a full self-titled debut release on Battleground records.  In the past few year they have gone through a few line-up changes. The current line-up is Orgo Martinez on drums, Wayne Rudell on guitar and vocals, and his brother Joey Rudell on bass and vocals.



Switchblade Jesus:
From the depths of Texas, Switchblade Jesus returns with a heaviness and deep grooves that succeed their previous recordings. Mixing southwestern boogie, desert-worn blues, retro-metal assault and fierce rocking into a sound that screams Texas–at times sanguine and starkly beautiful, at others full of damn sexy groove and assaulting violence can only describe the music of Texan power rocking, fuzzed out stoner blues trio, Switchblade Jesus.

Consisting of Eric Calvert (Vox/Guitar) Jon Elizondo (Drums) and new comer Chris Black (bass) to the fold to create a new chapter in Switchblade Jesus, more Doom and Gloom but no lack of the groove that the Texan's brought in the beginning.

Influenced by Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Motorhead, High on Fire, Melvins, Church of Misery, Deep Purple, ZZ Top, DOWN, Orange Goblin, Clutch, Sleep.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

WITCHERY'S NEW ALBUM, "I AM LEGION", OUT NOW VIA CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS

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The new album,“I Am Legion”, by Swedish blackened thrash metallers WITCHERY is out NOW via CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS!

Read below to find out what the critics have to say about the release!

- 6/7 Points Review - # 1 in Soundcheck – Metal Hammer (DE)
- 8/10 Points - # 6 in Soundcheck – Rock Hard (DE)
- 11/15 Points - # 7 in Souncheck – Legacy (DE)
- 8/10 Points Review – Rock Tribune (BE)

- “…a perfect mix of death, black and thrash metal” - 85/100 Points Review – Aardschok (NL)
- "Fast and furious" - 7/10 Points Review – Metal Hammer (UK)

- "Another excellent release by these Swedes!” - 85/100 Points Review – Lords Of Metal (NL)

- "...a blackened treasure of metal oozing with maniacal fury" - 9.5/10 Points Review – Metal Wani

As with last year’s previous album “In His Infernal Majesty’s Service”, “I Am Legion” was created in the WITCHERY line-up consisting of Angus Norder (Vocals), Jensen (Guitar), Rickard Rimfält (Lead Guitar), Sharlee D’Angelo (Bass) and Chris Barkensjö (Drums). The album was also produced and mixed by Daniel Bergstrand at Dugout Studios (Behemoth, In Flames, Meshuggah) and comes packaged in powerful artwork by Andreas Diaz Pettersson.

WITCHERY – “I Am Legion” (39:50):
1. Legion (01:13)
2. True North (04:08)
3. Welcome, Night (03:55)
4. Of Blackened Wing (04:17)
5. Dry Bones (03:59)
6. Amun-Ra (03:29)
7. Seraphic Terror (03:34)
8. A Faustian Deal (03:41)
9. An Unexpected Guest (04:05)
10. Great Northern Plague (01:49)
11. The Alchemist (05:34)

The album’s first single “True North” and its video by Niklas Sundin / Cabin fever media is here: https://youtu.be/It1qQVwH6xk

The album’s second single “Of Blackened Wing” and its video by Martin Hultgren / Gryt Film is here: https://youtu.be/Lyy4LN2_7zc

The album’s third single “Welcome, Night” and its lyric video by Cloud Music Typography is here: https://youtu.be/3nQzRj637Es

A brief trailer for “I Am Legion” can also be seen here: https://youtu.be/xrc4VdkUQ4c

Stream /Download “I Am Legion” now at http://smarturl.it/WITCHERY-IAmLegion

WITCHERY Live:
11/25     Bogotá, CO - Festival del Diablo III
2/1-5     70,000 Tons Of Metal (USA) Cruise
3/2-4     Tilburg, NL - Netherlands Death Fest
4/27-28 Erica, NL - Pitfest

WITCHERY Line Up:
Angus Norder – Vocals
Jensen – Guitar
Rickard Rimfält – Lead Guitar
Sharlee D’Angelo – Bass
Chris Barkensjö – Drums

WITCHERY Discography:
Restless & Dead – 1998
Witchburner / EP – 1999
Dead, Hot And Ready – 1999
Symphony For The Devil – 2001
Don't Fear The Reaper – 2006
Witchkrieg – 2010
In His Infernal Majesty’s Service – 2016
I Am Legion – 2017

WITCHERY online:

LÅNGFINGER: "Say Jupiter" Video From Gothenburg Power Trio Now Playing At The Obelisk




[Photo by Edko Fuzz]

View / Share LÅNGFINGER's "Say Jupiter" HERE.

Gothenburg power trio LÅNGFINGER is pleased to unveil latest video, "Say Jupiter." The tune comes by way of their Crossyears full-length, released last year via Small Stone.

Directed, produced, and edited in a restaurant kitchen by Anders Bryngel, the clip is currently playing at The Obelisk who issues, "I don't know who in LÅNGFINGER's world owns a restaurant and decided to give the three-piece access to the kitchen for the purposes of the Anders Bryngel-directed clip, but the results are pretty hilarious. As anyone who's ever made one can tell you, a good meal is as much about preparation as it is about the taste of the outcome, and whether they're in the kitchen rocking out or in the front of the house getting the royal treatment from the waitstaff - also played by them - bassist/vocalist Victor Crusner, guitarist/backing vocalist Kalle Lilja and drummer/backing vocalist Jesper Pihl seem to be having a great time putting it altogether. Whatever dinner turns out to be, it's apparently a pretty transcendent experience. Must've had a lot of garlic. God damn, I love garlic."

Watch "Say Jupiter," courtesy of The Obelisk, at THIS LOCATION, where you can also view the band's previously-released "Fox Confessor" video.

The ten-track Crossyears full-length was recorded by Johan Reivén and Olle Björck at Sweden's Welfare Sounds Studio with additional recordings by LÅNGFINGER at Beduin HQ, mixed by Olle Björck, and mastered by Daniel Johansson. Wrote Sea Of Tranquility in a 4/5 review, "If you love albums like Mountain's Climbing!, any of Led Zeppelin, Humble Pie, and Grand Funk Railroad's first few, and even The Who's Who's Next, you'll find plenty to sink your teeth into here on Crossyears. Add LÅNGFINGER to the already healthy list of outstanding Swedish retro rockers who are keeping the sounds of the '70s alive."

Stream Crossyears in full HERE where the album is available for purchase.

A truly kick ass power trio is quite possibly the perfect rock formation. If there aren't that many trios around, that's because it's a hard thing to pull off: with just three people having to nail the rhythmic fusion of bass and drums, the wild colors of guitar, and the soul-grabbing focus of the human voice, there can be no passengers aboard. Extraordinary chemistry is essential. Everyone has to be right on it, and locked in. Which is why lots of trios fail, or cop out, and recruit extras.

The members of LÅNGFINGER, hailing from the fertile rock 'n' roll city of Gothenburg, are masters of the art. They've been playing together since they were in their early teens, and their imminent third album is both the thrilling culmination of their collective endeavor, and a rumination on it - on how time has shaped them and brought them to this point. Within its hard-hitting grooves, the interlocking of LÅNGFINGER's three disparate characters - Kalle Lilja, the unflappable, precision axeman; Jesper Pihl, the athletic sticksman battering out physical revenge on his kit; and Victor Crusner, the intense, exploratory spirit, bridging thundering bass and howling exorcism - is a magical proposition.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Xroadie Files



Primitive Man – Caustic
Ethan Lee McCarthy – Guitars/Vocals, Jonathan Campos – Bass, Joe Linden – Drums

My Will lots of feedback and slow plodding droning riffs with vocals from the mouth of a demon.  Victim more feedback and fuzz with a slightly mid-tempo beat and vocals that sear your soul.  Caustic noise from hades and other places beyond the grave then Commerce starts a slow plodding demonic marching from hell.  Tepid has feedback that hurts the ears and more slow plodding demonic sounds form the underworld.  Ash works its way into your brain with a screech then Sterility pounds you into submission then back to a slow march to hades.  Sugar Hole grinds its way into your very being sucking all of the light out.  The Weight has all the sounds of hell bearing down on you and just devouring your mind then Disfigured grabs your soul and rips it out.  Inevitable is just what it says the end of your sanity.  Absolutes feedback and strange sounds that slowly drive you insane totally.


Profetus – Coronation Of The Black Sun
V Kajansuu – Drums, Eppe Kuismin – Guitar, A Makinen – Guitar/Vocals, S Kajunssu – Keyboards

Skull Of Silence slow and steady Sabbath like rhythms that seems to be coming from a witches coven black mass.  The Eye Of Phosphoros grinds even deeper and darker into the black pit of nothingness.  Coalescence Of Ashen Wings growling grinding deep into your very being and just converting your soul to darkness.  Blood of Saturn worming its way up behind you grabbing your throat and just strangling the life out of you.  Saturine Night hidden deep in your sub conscious is lost emotions. Winter Solstice is just dark deep growling lost in the woods for your life music and vocals.  Blood of Saturn Live completes this horror music fest.


Purple Hill Witch – Celestial Cemetery
Kristian – Guitar/Vocals, Andreas- Bass, Oyvind – Drums

Ghouls In Leather guitar feedback slowly builds then bass comes in then the drums these guys were definitely influences by old Sabbath.  Harbinger of Death heavy riffs pounding drums and bass slow Sabbath stoner rock.  Celestial Cemetary continues the doom stoner festival that will have you just tripping away with some excellent lead guitar.  Around The Universe takes back to the early days of Black Sabbath and just slow emotional tripping music.  Menticide head banging heavy metal that just envelopes you and takes you away to another time and place.  The First Encounter could be on one of the first few Sabbath albums and fit in very well great moody heavy metal with some excellent searing lead guitar.  Burnt Offering ends this doom fest correctly with lots of great playing and emotion.


Shine Bright – More Wild Than The Wind
Spenser Sorensen - , Michael Burton –Guitar  , Zane Waltrous,-Vocals  Jordan Talley - Bass, Tailor Neilson-  Guitar

Grow Up hard core/pop punk vocals and interesting riffs with some excellent drumming.  Jamais Vu is slightly more melodic at the start the goes back and forth from hardcore to pop punk.  Remorse lots of feedback and a grinding riff with gruff yelling vocals.  With A Heavy Heart punches away at you and has some twists and turns.  More Wild Than The Wind has an excellent Green Day style of beat and some interesting vocals.
    

-Xroadie

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Norwegian/English dreamy folk duo Tuvaband Release new Single 'Mess'



“Heavenly melody merges with intriguing electronics” (Clash)

“Atmospheric” (Alt Press)

“Melancholic music has never felt so good” (Wonderland)


“We recorded and produced the EP in each of our flats. After recording, we got help from Jonas Kjølstad of At The Loft Records to create the sound to be a mix between our first demos, Lisa Cranner’s music, and Bon Iver’s first album.”

Tuvaband is a Norwegian/English duo made of Tuva Hellum Marschhaüser and Simon Would. Their sound is a melancholic dream world of indie and contemplative lo-fi folk aesthetics influenced by Bon Iver. However you describe their sound, it’s quickly gaining mass appeal. Since their first release one year ago their songs are already pushing 13 million Spotify plays. Their new single, “Mess” is a poetic song gently balancing piano and acoustic guitar with Tuva’s voice. The effect is an immersive listening experience that invokes imagery of a bird guarding an empty nest from predators.

With comparisons to the likes of Laura Marling and The Staves, Tuvaband have regularly been named as one of the best new Scandinavian bands currently looking to dominate the UK’s music scene. And with songs like these, it is easy to see why so many have already fallen for their charm.

About the EP, the band says, “We recorded and produced the EP in each of our flats. After recording, we got help from Jonas Kjølstad of At The Loft Records to create the sound to be a mix between our first demos, Lisa Cranner’s music, and Bon Iver’s first album.” Overall, the EP feels like a beckoning call to return to nature, which also means disconnecting from the electronics that rule our lives. The lyrics are sophisticated and artistic, gracefully narrating stories like a choir of birds in a tranquil forest. ​​​​​​​

Tuvaband’s Mess EP is out NOW on Brilliance Records.
           

Mess EP
T R A C K L I S T:

1. Mess
2. Eventually Silence
3. Trees
4. She's Nothing Like A Child
5. Outro
6. The Observer
           
D I S C O V E R

EXCALIBUR IV - THE DARK AGE OF THE DRAGON The Rock Opera Album Featuring Members of Jethro Tull, Saga, Uriah Heep, Curved Air, Clannad, Supertramp and others! OUT NOW!




EXCALIBUR IV is the widely anticipated fourth NEW STUDIO ALBUM in the Celtic Rock Opera series, following on from the GOLD and PLATINUM selling original trilogy. EXCALIBUR IV was played live in its entirety to 12 ARENAS in Germany in December 2016 and will be touring again in 2018.

Released on Babaika Productions, via Cherry Red Records, the album features appearances by:
Alan Stivell
Michael Sadler (Saga)
Jesse Sibenberg & John Helliwell (Supertramp)
Martin Barre (Jethro Tull)
Moya Brennan (Clannad)
Roberto Tiranti (Labyrinth)
Bernie Shaw (Uriah Heep)
Siobham Owen
Sonja Kristina (Curved Air)
John Kelly (The Kelly Family)
Maite Itoiz (Elfhental)

Excalibur – the legendary rock opera is back!
After a thousand years of imprisonment, Merlin – the wizard – finally escapes from Morgana’s spell. Initially intrigued by the beauty of the new world that he returned to, he soon discovers the decay of knightly and sublime virtues, which once had been so bravely defended by King Arthur’s roundtable. An enraged Merlin casts his biggest spell over this world and brings the mighty dragon to life. A epic return of the legendary Celtic rock opera on to German stages, a new chapter in the saga around the sword Excalibur – this is “EXCALIBUR - The Dark Age Of The Dragon”.

A trailer for the album can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4rRmUpT3xs

Track List:

1. THE WINGS OF THE DRAGON
2. ALONE
3. STONEHENGE
4. I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE
5. CALLING FOR YOU
6. DON’T BE AFRAID
7. SILVER MOON
8. DREAMERS
9. THE LAST LAMENT OF A FAIRY
10. THE NEW TIMES
11. FORGET YOUR SORROW
12. THE FIFTH SEASON
13. THE PASSION
14. I WILL BE FOR EVER
15. BEHIND THE MIST
16. YOU DON’T KNOW
17. YOU ARE THE SUNSHINE
18. THERE IS SOMEONE
19. DUN AENGUS II

To purchase EXCALIBUR IV:

For more information:
Alan Simon's official website: http://www.alansimononline.com/eng.html

Monday, November 13, 2017

NEGATIVEHATE - Solipsis



Self-released

Negativehate began in 1995 and have had a lot of ups and downs and especially lineup changes, but the one thing that remained after all of this was the guarantee of music that is challenging and full of emotion and talent. Based in Monroe, NY the band is comprised of Mike Stewart (keys, vocals), Eric Stewart (bass), Chuck Scandura (guitar, vocals), Sergio Sanchez (drums), and Freedom Scheyd (guitar, backing vocals).

The music is a mix of many styles; ambient, prog rock, alternative and post metal, but it all seems to work in their favor creating a sound that will astound and confound in places. The songs are mostly long and do have meandering parts like “The Expansion of the Universe (via magnification of the infinitesimal)” does, but you find yourself just going along and floating during those moments and then when it gets heavy and the growled, almost death metal vocals come in, it fits perfectly. The songs on the album are conceptualized after a story of the same name also written by the band, so it has a definite meaning to it and actually makes for a great listen. This is not an album to throw on and party along to, unless you have really weird parties….and I want to party with you! This is one of those listen to it in one shot to get the full effect of the music, even though you will find tracks that stand out more for you, like I did with “The Expansion of the Universe (via magnification of the infinitesimal)”. The songs do flow from one to the next without a lot of difference between them, but that’s not a complaint, it just makes the whole thing work in ways that most just can’t seem to do.

Give your ears a treat and freak them out a bit with the time changes, vocal variations and other non-traditional sounds on here and let them grow and evolve into something better than just holes where sound goes in, but turn them into something special and lovely, but demented at the same time. A great listen and one that just seems to get better the more I listen to it.

-Rick Ecker


Sunday, November 12, 2017

A Ripple Conversation With Andrew Field, Founder Of APF Records



How long have you been doing this and what got you started running an independent record label?

I started APF Records in the Spring. I go to around a hundred gigs a year in Manchester, where I live, and have gotten to know a load of the bands who play locally as a result. Many of them don’t have record deals, or the money to self-release, so in simple terms I decided I’d see if they wanted someone to release their stuff for them. APF Records began when a three-piece from Stockport, called Under, said yes.


What motivated you? Why here, why now? 

I'm just a big old fan of music. I'm in my mid-40s now but have been passionate about hard rock and heavy metal since stumbling across my first love (Rush) in the 1980s. I turned to stoner rock with Kyuss, doom with Trouble and sludge with Helmet in the early 1990s, and my taste has gotten ever more downtuned and more underground with each passing year. Back in my youth I was a drummer, but I long ago hung up my drum sticks. I wanted to be a part of underground music, more than just a punter, and having a business brain I thought I might do OK running an independent label.

The “why here” and “why now” is because the UK has such a vibrant, exciting and burgeoning underground so is the perfect place for a small label. And for the first time in my life I have the time, money, energy and excitement these days to pile everything of me into it.


What's your prior history in the music world? 

Apart from being a fan, the only music world experience I have is a short stint working at EMI records in London in the 1990s in the press office. I didn’t last long: I got frustrated that they wouldn’t spend money on (or let me work on) their rock and metal releases, so I spent my days dealing mostly with manufactured teen bands and Cliff Richard. Then one day I put Adam Ant on hold for half an hour by accident and had a massive falling out with my boss and walked out before I could be fired.


What will be your first release?

My first release was Under’s “Slick” album back in May. Since then I’ve released albums, singles and EPs by Diesel King, Blind Haze, Mastiff, The Wizards Of Delight, Tronald, RedEye Revival and Ba’al. At the end of November I release BongCauldron’s album “Binge”. Next year I have a host of stuff coming out including new material from Desert Storm, Pist and Nomad.


Any special projects planned? 

The one I’m most excited about is a gig I’m putting on in Manchester in February which my entire roster is playing on. 15 bands. It’s probably the only time it will ever happen. We’re getting a photo taken with me and all the boys and girls in the bands. That’s gonna be an amazing moment.

I’ve just signed a worldwide distribution deal with Cargo Records, abd the thought that my releases will now be sold in record shops in Japan blows my mind.


Are you looking to tap into a particular local scene or were you aiming to capture a sound?
 
A bit of both. When APF started I just wanted to sign bands based in northern England who played sludge, doom or stoner rock. But then I signed Diesel King from London and Desert Storm from Oxford, so go figure. I have no plans to sign anyone from overseas at this time, but will never say never.


Tell us about the label Name and logo.  

After Under said they wanted to sign with me, I had just a month to get their album “Slick” manufactured. I spent a week trying to come up with a clever name, but couldn’t settle on one. So I went with my initials. The logo was designed by a dude I know through the scene. It was the first idea he came up with and I immediately loved it.


There's so much to learn about running a label, share with us some of the lessons you're learning along the way.

I was very lucky to have several friends who run independent labels who offered guidance and advice (Chris West of Superhot, Leigh Jones of Riff Rock, Jay Ackerman of Hevisike, Gareth Kelly of When Planets Collide, and James Kidd of UMC). I still call on them now occasionally, though I’ve learned so much in the last 9 months.

I guess the biggest lessons I’ve learned are twofold: 1. Don’t get overexcited and order too many CDs, because people don’t buy music like they used to. And 2. Getting reviews for your releases without using a PR firm is challenging.


What changes do you see ahead for the music industry?

I leave that kind of introspection to others. I have no aspiration to make money from my label, or for it to be something that I make a living out of. All I want to do is release great music that enough people buy that I break even on each release. If I can shift 500 vinyls, 500 CDs and some digital downloads for each of my bands that will make me happy.


What will you do to stay on top of new and emerging technology?
 
Well the record industry doesn’t seem that arsed about emerging technology as I see it. Look what’s in vogue at the moment, especially at my label’s level: vinyl, cassettes, streaming and YouTube. Two of them have made a return, and the other two have been around for ages. CDs wil come back too, mark my words. I’ll keep an eye on developments, but won’t pretend I’ll be on top of them.


What's the biggest challenge facing you today as an independent label?

Breaking even, and getting my music heard by enough people to break even whilst working within a very limited budget. Those are the only things I fret about. I love every other aspect of running my label.


Seems like there are a lot of independent heavy labels emerging these days.  What will you do to set yourself apart? 

I don’t know how to say this without coming over like a narcissist, but my label is different because of me. I was able to start it because I was well-known in the Manchester underground heavy music scene. It has grown through sheer will on my behalf, on almost no budget and largely without any PR. I’ve sold myself as much as the label brand and it seems to have worked.

Those of a certain age will remember Remington shavers and their television adverts in the late 1970s, where the President of Remington Victor Kyam used to say “I liked the razor so much I bought the company”. The advert was a hit and he appeared in all their marketing from them on. I guess I’m a bit of a modern day Victor Kyam: people know me as much as APF Records, and I’m content with that. When I look at other labels I see the brand and not the individuals behind it. I’m almost the reverse of that.


What do you look for in your bands?

When I set up APF Records I just wanted great bands on the label who made music that blew me away. Going forward I’ll be looking for a bit more than that. They must be dedicated to the stuff that comes with releasing a record: willing to engage on and in social media, do good interviews, and play live a lot. I will also be looking closely at bands before I sign them to make sure they all get on. Band members not being on the same page is a license for disaster.

I would never sign a band whose music didn’t move me, or a band where the members were not nice people. Life’s too short.


How do you find your artists?  Are you a club rat, constantly searching live venues for cool acts?

I’ve found everyone so far by going to so many gigs. The ones I love the most are all-dayers with 10 to 15 bands playing 30 minute sets. With one exception, all the bands on APF I knew from loving their bands – and telling them I love them at their gigs.

What are you looking for now?

A rest. I’ve put 10 releases out in 9 months. After BongCauldron’s “Binge” comes out on 30th November I have nothing scheduled until Desert Storm’s “Sentinels” drops in March 2018. I’m looking forward to some chill time.


Are you involved in all the creative decisions?

No. I stay away from the studio unless the bands invite me along, and I let them commission their own artwork. If they want my involvement they can have it, and they know that. But most of them don’t need it.

What would you like to see happen for the future of the music industry and your label in particular? 

When people are chatting about cool heavy labels I’d like them eventually to add “and APF Records” at the end of a sentence starting with “yeah man there’s some killer stuff on New Heavy Sounds, Riding Easy, Ripple Music, Hevisike”.


Anything else you'd like to share with the waveriders? 

Streaming is easy and cheap, but if you love a band you hear online go buy their record. Or some of their merch. Or go see them live. Cos without that, we’re all doomed.

Best of luck man.  Ripple will be there every step of the way to support you in any way we can.

Love your work! Keep on keeping on. xx

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Cortez - The Depths Below



Yes, one of my favourite tribes from Massachusetts are back with a smoker of an album, 'The Depths Below'. After 5 long years of no recordings – apart from a brilliant 7” split Borracho - the stars finally aligned and the guys got together to stir up some stuff. This eventually, and thankfully, led to the birth of the new record and the return of Cortez. And what a return it is! So I’m not going to bitch about the long wait…….

Where do I start with this barn-burner of an album? Like I mentioned above it’s such a joy to have them back, pure and simple. But that emotion might cloud what actually is going on. However, there is nothing to fear as Cortez surpasses themselves a thousand-fold times over. The music is super focused, free-flowing and unshackled with a ferocious bite to match. Add a full, rich production to the equation and you have a band holding nothing back as well as destroying any naysayers without batting an eyelid. They have also retained the Cortez sound but upped the ante by being more in your face, as well as adding even sharper riffs than before, completely obliterating the listener in the process.

‘All Gone Wrong’ sets the mood right away, kicking up dirt as the band pile drives straight through my head. A super heavy rhythm section paves the way for ruthless riffs to rip me apart. Slowing things down just a touch and opting for a chest crushing approach, ‘Poor And Devoid’ is relentless to say the least. ‘Walk Through Fire’ unleashes the fury with furious riffs running parallel with some intense solos as Cortez opens the door to the trilogy ‘In The Shadows Of Ancients’. Part 2, ‘The Citadel’ is a slower composition and has a strong mystic, Middle Eastern feel. Hypnotic and mesmerizing it picks up in the verses. After a blistering solo the band kicks into full stoner riffaganza and yours truly is bouncing off the walls. ‘Blood Of Heirs’ ends the trilogy and this is a full-on metal frenzy. Going wide open this is not for those with a weak heart or degenerative discs because Cortez brings an onslaught and a half, and it’s bloody fantastic!

Pummeling with a head rush of monstrous proportions while facing the maelstrom that is ‘To The Skies’, I realize there’s no point in fighting these guys. Just let them sweep you away through the soul searching chorus to the punishing verses. Trippy and dreamlike at first with a mellow yet eerie vibe, ‘Kill Your Ghosts’ eventually shift gears and the twin-axe attack from Scott O’Dowd and Alasdair Swan blows me away. ‘Dead Channel’ is slightly different than the rest. After a spaced-out intro followed by a brief burst of punk it weaves back and forth between snarly vocals in desert sound mode and gang-like chanting bringing it back to punk again. Confusing? Not at all, if you ask me. Cortez do blend a lot of styles into this composition but it works amazingly well. In fact, ‘Dead Channel’ is one of my favourites. Speaking of styles, closer ‘Orison’ is a fantastic homage to doom legends Candlemass akin to their pièce de résistance, ‘Solitude’. Singer Matthew Harrington does an amazing job as does bass man Jay Furlo and drummer Jeremy Hemond. They keep it tight and heavy allowing their string slingers to excel.

I can’t stress enough how damned great ‘The Depths Below’ is, waveriders! Having followed and liked Cortez for years, I know how bloody amazing they are. Still, this new album floors me over and over again as I am stunned by the sheer brilliance these guys display. As a music fan that’s the best feeling there is when one of your favourites completely annihilates the world with their new wax. Thank you and welcome back, Cortez!

-Swedebeast


Friday, November 10, 2017

HEIDEVOLK - Release First Details Of Upcoming Album!



artwork by Awik Balaian

HEIDEVOLK are the true definition of Pagan Metal Brotherhood. These Dutchmen hold up the flag for intelligent and perfectly balanced Pagan Folk Metal like no other.

It’s time to unveil the info on their brand new release and upcoming masterpiece from HEIDEVOLK. Please welcome “Vuur van Verzet" – set to be released on January 12th 2018.

Marvelous riff power, bombastic ensembles and folkloric tunes make up the amazing album that is "Vuur van Verzet”.

The band states:
“Friends,
We are excited to announce our long-awaited new album “Vuur van Verzet” (“Fire of Resistance”). An album that catapults you to a battlefield where a failing Roman empire is retreating and Germanic tribes are on the rise to claim back what is theirs. It will guide you through the great migrations and tell the tale of early traditions, gods and nature. We’ve fitted these stories in 11 songs that emphasize the characteristic HEIDEVOLK sound but also underline the progression of our songwriting. Fast metal riffing combined with a our trademark dual male vocals, a 24 piece male choir, various folk musicians, a string ensemble and the raw guest vocals of Primordials’ Nemtheanga make “Vuur van Verzet” an album that shows its teeth..in a bombastic way. Join us, the Pagan Metal Brotherhood is on the rise!”

Take a look at the full track listing, available formats and upcoming tour dates below:
           
"Vuur van Verzet" track listing:
1. Ontwaakt
2. A Wolf In My Heart
3. Onverzetbaar
4. Yngwaz Zonen
5. Britannia
6. The Alliance
7. Tiwaz
8. Het Oneindige Woud
9. Gungnir
10. Woedend
11. Het Juk der Tijd
12. Drink op de Nacht (Bonus Track)
13. Een Wolf in mijn Hart (Bonus Track)

Available formats:
1 CD 6-pages Digipack incl. 24 pages booklet
1 LP Gatefold, black and limited golden vinyl
Ltd Edition Album Bundle incl. 6-pages Digipack, Leather wristband, flag, patch
Digital Album Download
     
“Vuur van Verzet" is scheduled for a January 12th 2018 release.
Pre-Orders are NOW up and ready.
Get your hands on your exclusive pre-order HERE!

HEIDEVOLK will be hitting the road for an European tour run together with their label mates in ARKONA as well as Finnish Folk Metal Superstars KORPIKLAANI & True Norwegian Balkan Metal, Trollfest in 2018. Check out all dates below and make sure to grab your tickets soon:
           
HEIDEVOLK
w/ KORPIKLAANI, ARKONA, TROLLFEST
15.02.18 BE - Antwerp /Trix
16.02.18 DE - Hamburg / Markthalle
17.02.18 DE - Oberhausen / Turbinehalle 2 *
18.02.18 NL - Amsterdam / Melkweg *
19.02.18 DE - Saarbrucken / Garage **
20.02.18 FR - Paris / Elysee Montmartre
21.02.18 FR - Nantes / Stereolux
22.02.18 FR - Toulouse / Le Bikini
23.02.18 ES - Madrid / Sala But
24.02.18 ES - Barcelona / Salamandra 1
25.02.18 FR - Lyon / Transbordeur
26.02.18 CH - Vevey / The Rocking Chair **
27.02.18 DE - Aschaffenburg / Colos-Saal
28.02.18 DE - Berlin / Columbia Theater
01.03.18 CZ - Prague / Meet Factory
02.03.18 DE - Munich / Backstage *
03.03.18 DE - Stuttgart / LKA *
04.03.18 CH - Pratteln / Z7
05.03.18 IT - Milano / Magazzini Generali
06.03.18 AT - Salzburg / Rockhouse **
07.03.18 AT - Graz / Orpheum
08.03.18 AT - Vienna / Simm City
09.03.18 DE - Leipzig / Hellraiser *
10.03.18 DE - Geiselwind / Musichall *
11.03.18 DE - Hannover / Capitol

* extended shows with Black Messiah, Evertale & The Privateers
** no Arkona
           
HEIDEVOLK Line-up:
Lars Nachtbraecker- Vocals
Jacco Bühnebeest - Vocals
Koen Vuurdichter - Guitar
Kevin Storm - Guitar
Rowan Roodbaert - Bass
Joost den Vellenknotscher - Drums

For More Info Visit:
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