Pilgrim – II: Void Worship (2014); Blizaro – Cornucopia della Morte (2016)

Pilgrim - Void Worship

PilgrimII: Void Worship (Metal Blade Records, 01 April 2014)

 

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BlizaroCornucopia della Morte (I, Voidhanger Records, 15 April 2016)

 

Hey! Did you enjoy Monday’s post about old-school occult/doom metal? I hope you did, because [[SPOILER ALERT]] there’s plenty more where that came from. Today we’ll be taking a look at another pair of bands who fit that description: Pilgrim and Blizaro.

As it turns out, each of these bands will be joining together with Castle on a handful of their upcoming tour dates (which we had discussed yesterday); one of the shows Blizaro is scheduled to play (July 31st in Pittsburgh) also will feature Brimstone Coven; a few lucky people will get the chance to see both Blizaro AND Pilgrim together. Further details about all this will be tucked into the comment section below, so be sure to check that out. But first, let’s talk about some music …

 

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Brimstone Coven – Self-titled (2014); Castle – Welcome to the Graveyard (2016)

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Brimstone CovenBrimstone Coven (Metal Blade Records, 05 August 2014)

 

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CastleWelcome to the Graveyard (Ván Records, 15 July 2016)

 

Good afternoon, all you fine people visiting the Valley. Things have gotten a little bit hectic around here recently — I’ll never understand what it is that makes people want to go on vacation in the summertime when it’s so gross and hot and humid outside. Given the choice, I’d rather sit in an air-conditioned office all day, and save days off for later when I really don’t feel like going. Not that much writing happens while I’m at work anyhow, I’m plenty busy enough doing my actual job, but I usually at least can spend the day listening to stuff, and jotting down some little notes that I can turn into a full article or review later. But sometimes lately I haven’t had much chance to even think, let alone formulate coherent sentences.

But as always, there’s tons of stuff happening in the music world, new releases to tell you about, older stuff that you may have missed but really deserves your attention, tours kicking off that just might be coming through your city. And this will be a blend of all of those things: one band whose new album comes out next month, and who started a tour (that will last pretty much all summer long!) just last week; another band who released an excellent album two years ago but somehow we never got around to sharing it with you, and who will be joining the first band for a handful of those shows in a few weeks. So keep on reading, you’ll hear some great music, and the full set of dates for each band will be listed down below in the comments …

 

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Ruby the Hatchet – Ouroboros, Mars Red Sky – Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul) (2016)

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Ruby the HatchetOuroboros (RUR Records, 29 April 2016)

 

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Mars Red SkyApex III (Praise for the Burning Soul) (Listenable Records, 20 May 2016)

 

Good afternoon. Today I’d like to talk to you about two different bands who each fall under the general umbrella of “psychedelic/stoner rock.” Both have new releases out (recently, or within the next two days), and both will be hitting the road (separately) playing various shows and festivals across the USA over the next few months. First I’ll introduce you to those recent releases, and then head down a little further to the comments section where I’ll share the scheduled tour dates!

 

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Black Tar Prophet – Deafen (2014)

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Black Tar ProphetDeafen (Domestic Genocide Records, 22 April 2014)

 

Hey, folks. How’s it going? I’ve got some more music here I’d like to share with you. I think you’re going to like it.

A lot of times when I write about a band, you may have noticed I will include some kind of anecdote about how I first heard about them — whether I’d seen them perform live at some point, or sometimes it’s someone I get introduced to through another website or another band. But the vast majority of the stuff I have here to write about came to me as the result of being contacted by either the band themselves, or their record label, or the PR person who represents the band or label. I get a TON of stuff emailed to me — seriously — and it can sometimes be a bit taxing to sort through it all. But in the end it’s completely worth it, because I’ve discovered some amazing stuff this way that might not have come to my attention otherwise. In fact, some of the bands I would consider to be among my favorites to listen to (not even exaggerating) were ones I had never heard of until I’d been contacted by their label or PR company.

For this reason, I make it a point to listen to absolutely everything that anyone sends me. Because there’s no way of knowing whether something might end up surprising me and being awesome. In fact, I go into every new album with as little knowledge as possible, and with the hopes that it’ll be something that completely blows me away. Of course, this leaves me feeling pretty disappointed much of the time, but occasionally I come across some real gems. When I do, that’s when I generally will go back to the original email (and then Facebook or Bandcamp or the band’s own website, wherever they have some sort of online presence) to learn more about the band — such as where they’re from and a whatever history I can learn about them.

This is sort of what happened when I first heard Black Tar Prophet‘s new album Deafen, which came out earlier this year. When I started listening, I knew nothing about the band other than their name, but before I reached the end of the first song, I was already rushing back to find that email, to see where these guys were located — and not just from curiosity. This time, I needed to know how close to here (Pittsburgh) they lived, so I could gauge the chances of them ever playing in this area. Once I found out they were from relatively nearby (Tennessee, which is just three states away, or about 8-9 hours driving), I immediately started considering the possibility that they could someday be on tour somewhere in this direction, and furthermore I decided that if this happened, I needed to get them a show here in town, and that my own band Last should open for them.

Well… I’m very excited to tell you that in just a couple of weeks, both of those things will be coming true! This instrumental heavy sludge/noise duo will be hitting the road in October, and I’ll include all the details about that right after I’ve told you some more about this album that had piqued my interest so much when I first heard it…

 

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Begrime Exemious – Visions of the Scourge (2012)

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Begrime ExemiousVisions of the Scourge (Dark Descent Records, 04 April 2012)

 

Good afternoon! Remember yesterday when I wrote about the new Wrought Iron album? I mentioned that they’d be having a release show to celebrate TONIGHT, at Howler’s Coyote Cafe in Bloomfield (Pittsburgh). Full details on that can be found right here. That show also features locals Post Mortal Possession and two out-of-town bands who are each currently engaged in (separate) tours: Cryptic Yeast from New York, and Begrime Exemious from Alberta.

Well as it turns out, I remembered that I had an album from the Canadian band — one that I’d never quite gotten around to writing about, so it’s just sort of been sitting here in my “to do” pile for the past 2+ years. With this news that they’re coming to Pittsburgh, in the midst of what I believe to be their first American tour (outside of a short excursion down the Pacific coast last summer), I figured it’s as good a time as any to revisit Begrime Exemious and their second full-length album Visions of the Scourge. (They’ve also released a number of splits and EPs, before and since then, and you may be interested to learn that pretty much their whole discography is available to download from Bandcamp for free or “pay what you like” — see the relevant link at the end of this post.)

 

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Wrought Iron – Rejoice and Transcend (2014)

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Wrought IronRejoice and Transcend (Grimoire Records, 24 June 2014)

 

Ever since the band was formed (which was at the end of 2011), and especially since they started playing live shows (the following spring), there’s been a significant amount of buzz surrounding Wrought Iron within Pittsburgh’s underground music scene. People who’ve caught their live shows (often appearing with some pretty big names, like Abigail Williams, Absu, Alcest, Dying Fetus, False, and Nachtmystium, just to name a few) have reported being spellbound by the ferocity as well as the raw talent on display.

Well, that — and one other thing too. It seems like whenever this band is being discussed, the performance of vocalist Kenny Snyder often gets brought up; several times I’ve witnessed certain people (without mentioning anyone specifically, but I will say it’s almost always been members of other local bands) trying to imitate the combined snarl-shriek-squawk that these folks affectionately refer to as “like a dying pterodactyl.”

Anyway. I personally may have been a little bit late to the party, but after hearing them recommended so highly for so long, I finally got the chance to see Wrought Iron last summer (and a couple more times since then). I was very impressed by what I saw and heard — they definitely lived up to the hype, no question about that. Fast-forward another year, and we find the band recording an album with Maryland’s Grimoire Records, which is being released digitally (as well as on CD or cassette) today.

 

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Review: Borracho – Oculus

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BorrachoOculus (digital version self-released 18 July 2013 | vinyl edition released December 2013 on No Balls Records (Germany) / Strange Magic Records (US) / AM Records (Japan))

 

Hey there, readers. There’s been a bunch of great music released this week, and I can’t wait to share it with you! I’ll get to that very soon. First, there’s something else I’ve been meaning to tell you all about for months and I really don’t want to let it wait any longer. Those of you who’ve been around here a while will surely remember Borracho: I’ve been way into this band ever since I stumbled upon Splitting Sky, their debut album, back in 2011, which immediately found its way onto my list of the best releases of that year. For those who haven’t been paying attention, it doesn’t take much research to find that I’ve written about them or mentioned them quite a few times since then. Just something about those heavy-as-balls riffs and mind-bending instrumental passages really grabs my attention and refuses to let go.

So anyway, naturally, after a series of vinyl reissues and 7″ singles and 10″ singles, the news that these guys were releasing a second album of brand-new material would be very exciting to me. Combined with the fact that the band swung by my city for the first time ever — and the second time ever — all within the past year, yeah I’d say I was pretty thrilled. That new album — Oculus — was unleased (online) on the same day as Borracho‘s second Pittsburgh show of the year, which was mid-July 2013, and so I’ve been listening to it ever since then (and, as you may recall, history repeated itself as it was also included on my list of last year’s best albums). I did start writing about it around the time it was released, intending to publish this review before I went to the show that night, but something came up — I think work was especially busy that week or something. Then for most of the rest of the year I was frozen in Carbonite. I dunno, I have no excuses, really. But that’s why, like I said, I want to bring this album to your attention as soon as possible.

 

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