Bell Witch – Mirror Reaper (Profound Lore Records, 10 October 2017)
Today we’re going to talk — again — about Bell Witch. Since the release of their demo recording back in 2011, this bass+drums+vocals duo of doom has been delighting our auditory cortices with a combination of immense gravitas and lofty, haunting melodies. With the departure of drummer/vocalist Adrian Guerra following sophomore album Four Phantoms, bassist/vocalist Dylan Desmond soldiered on with a new partner in Jesse Shreibman.
As observed in our 2016 review of that 2015 double-LP, the tragic passing of friend and former bandmate Guerra devastated the members of Bell Witch — who, as it turns out, had just started working together on the first new material with their current line-up. As you might expect, this event would certainly have a strong effect on the writing process, the result of which became Mirror Reaper, revealed to the world last fall.
With these guys hitting the road TONIGHT for a month-long expedition all over North America (including stops at two different festivals this weekend), alongside fellow Pacific Northwesterners Yob, we’ll spend some time with Mirror Reaper, and then share that list of tour dates down below.
Steel Bridge Promotions — who have been responsible for putting together all sorts of really solid shows in the Pittsburgh area over the past few years, as well as being among the most genuinely nice people you will EVER meet — recently announced that their final shows will be taking place this October. While that’s terrible news for this city, SBP will definitely be going out with a bang! Here, we’ll be sharing some information about the one of those final shows.
Melvins – Basses Loaded (Ipecac Records, 03 June 2016)
Around here, we’ve talked pretty extensively about the Melvins. Mostly because since forming in Montesano, Washington about thirty-five years ago, the band has been a highly influential part of so many of the genres we love, even having a hand in forming and shaping several of those. Also there’s the fact that, with their ever-revolving line-ups, there are approximately ninety-seven Melvins releases (on average) each year. Being so prolific, it’s likely that they’ll have some stuff kind of flying under the radar, and today we’ll be looking at an album from last year that you may have missed. And then down in the comments you can find information about all their tour dates for the rest of the summer and beyond (and if you have the opportunity to see these guys, I really could not recommend it highly enough!)
Hollow Leg – Murder EP (digital: Argonauta Records, 03 March 2017; cassette: Southern Druid Records, 16 June 2017; Crown, Murder Edition CD: Argonauta Records, 30 June 2017)
He Whose Ox is Gored – Paralyzer 7″ (Chain Letter Collective/Void Assault Records, 16 June 2017)
Cave of Swimmers – The Sun 7″ (Southern Druid Records, 03 July 2017)
Today I’ve got three different releases to share with you. Don’t worry, I won’t take up too much of your time — each of these has just two or three songs. But more importantly, all three come from bands who have had some pretty incredible previous releases we’ve already talked about: Hollow Leg, He Whose Ox is Gored, and Cave of Swimmers. So you can already be guaranteed these will all be great, too!
Oh yeah, and if you scroll on down to the comments section, you can take a peek at the dates for Hollow Leg‘s current tour which centers around an appearance at The Maryland Doom Fest on Saturday (24 June)!
Borracho – Atacama (Kozmik Artifactz, 02 December 2016 CD/digital, 10 March 2017 vinyl)
Beastmaker – Inside the Skull (Rise Above Records, 19 May 2017)
Hey folks, let’s take a look at some recent (and semi-recent) releases from another two bands who are appearingwere scheduled to appear at this weekend’s Maryland Doom Fest, one of whom will still be performing* — specifically, they’re both kicking off the festivities Thursday night at the Pre Fest Party. Representing the east coast, D.C.-area heavy-fuzz dealers Borracho, clearly no strangers to this website, dropped their third full-length at the tail end of 2016, while left coast doomsters Beastmaker saw the release of their second LP just last month. Listening to either of these would absolutely be time well-spent, so please feel free to continue reading …
Beastmaker has announced that they will be unable to make it to this year’s Doom Fest. Borracho is still slated to be there Thursday night!
Green Elder / Pensive Ceremony – Split (self-released, 11 August 2016)
Twilight Fauna – Fire of the Spirit (Ravenwood Recordings / Fragile Branch Recordings, 19 August 2016)
Hello, and happy Friday! Today I’d like to call your attention to a pair of releases you may enjoy, that just came out last month. The second one is an album called Fire of the Spirit, Twilight Fauna‘s sixth full-length record over the past several years, in addition to numerous other discographical items. (As you may or may not be aware, Twilight Fauna is a solo black metal project with strong Appalachian folk roots, with everything written and performed by sole member Paul Ravenwood of Johnson City, Tennessee.) But before that, in light of it having been released a week earlier, we’ll talk about a 12″ split record that features Green Elder — also a Ravenwood solo gig, but this one entirely eschews the black metal aspects in favor of a more somber, pure Appalachian folk style. The flip side of this split consists of yet another single-member ensemble — one that’s even more elusive than the others we’re discussing today, in terms of sharing any personal information. It’s called Pensive Ceremony, and everything here is done by an individual known only as Pythagumus, apparently from somewhere near Tacoma, Washington.
He Whose Ox is Gored – Rumors (Bleeding Light Records, 28 October 2014)
He Whose Ox is Gored – The Camel, the Lion, the Child (Bleeding Light Records, 09 October 2015)
Hey, guess what: there’s a great band on tour that’s scheduled to play in Pittsburgh tonight (Wednesday, 7 September 2016) — Seattle’s psychedelic doom quartet He Whose Ox is Gored! This is happening at The Smiling Moose, 1306 East Carson Street, South Side. Doors open at 5:30 and the show starts at 6 — also performing will be Retox, Silent, and Netherlands.
Have you heard about this? Perhaps not, because I haven’t been able to find a Facebook event or any other sort of mention of the show, ouside of a mention on the calendar section of the venue’s website, and this being included in lists of tour dates shared by the bands themselves.
It’ll really be a shame if folks miss out on this just because they didn’t know it was taking place, so this seems like a great time to share the following review of a couple HWOIG releases — specifically their debut EP from 2014, and first full-length album from 2015. These are both pretty incredible and I’ve been meaning to write about them for the past year or two anyhow, so here goes! If you like what you hear, please be sure to spread the word, especially if you live in Pittsburgh or near any of the band’s other remaining dates! (Those will be listed down in the comments section.)