Sunday, August 02, 2015

Valkyrie at Slim's

I love a musician who knows how to give a good rock face, and brothers Pete and Jake Adams from Valkyrie definitely have that skill down. Meanwhile bass player Alan Fary and drummer Warren Hawkins (truly Valkyrie's secret weapon) are in the back, laying it down and providing a solid rhythm that can stand up to the Adams brothers intricate riffing.  Their latest album, Shadows,  is one of the best albums of the year. Their show on Friday at Slim's was only the second time I've seen them, but it was intense and good. Looking forward to seeing them again. See more photos here

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Checking out Raleigh's Chaosmic

Lately I've been listening to Chaosmic, a new band featuring some Raleigh metal veterans. Their debut, "Sunborn," is good stuff, especially the song "Communion." Check it out on their Bandcamp here.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Upcoming: New releases from Windhand and Kadavar

I'm very excited about two upcoming releases: RVA doom masters (and mistress) Windhand will release "Grief's Infernal Flower" on Relapse on Sept. 18, and German retro-rockers Kadavar will release "Berlin" on Nuclear Blast on Aug. 21.

Windhand's 2013 release, "Soma," was on non-stop repeat for me that year. The new album's first single, "Two Urns," hearkens back to Soma's two crushing opening tracks, and features some very fine singing from Dorthia Cottrell, and a pretty blistering solo from Garrett Morris. Check it out below. Pitchfork has tour dates here.

The video for Kadavar's "The Old Man" -- the first single from "Berlin," is awesome enough just for the shots of drummer Tiger playing the maracas (check him out at about 59 seconds). But Lupus Lindemann's "Sails of Charon"-esque riffing makes the song exciting, and has me eagerly awaiting the rest of the album. They'll be touring throughout Europe this fall.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Photos and video: Connoisseur, Celeste and Primitive Man



 Primitive Man

On Thursday (June 25) I checked out Primitive Man with French post-metalers Celeste, Oakland weed avengers Connoisseur at the Maywood. Locals Priapus opened, but were mostly done by the time I arrived. Of the bands I saw, Connoisseur easily made the biggest impression on me. These are some hilarious, weed-loving dudes. Every song was about smoking weed, buying weed, not having weed, and friends who will help you out by giving you weed. My personal favorite was the anti-GMO, anti-corporate weed rant below.

Connoisseur from Mann's World on Vimeo.

As for Celeste, I wasn't sure what to think when they started off with a fog machine. A fog machine in a small club is NOT A GOOD THING as far as I'm concerned. But then they all turned on red headlamps and this happened. My iPhone couldn't quite handle it, so there's only 11 seconds, but you get the picture. Good stuff. I recommend you see them if you can.

Celeste from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Journey to the center of your mind with Sacri Monti and Ecstatic Vision

Recently I've been listening to a couple of upcoming releases that are on the trippier side of things, and I suggest you check them out.

San Diego's Sacri Monti will release its self-titled debut July 24 on Tee Pee, which is my go-to label for '70s-inspired psychedelic bands. Like their label-mates Earthless, Sacri Monti knows how to rip, burying their riffage a thick, smoking haze of fuzz, and employing some serious wah-pedal gynmastics.

Philly's Ecstatic Vision take the fuzz to a whole new dimension on their Relapse debut, "Sonic Praise" (out June 30). The album is a spacey, rhythmic concoction of Hawkwind, Krautrock and Sun Ra, which goes full-on freak out on the standout track, "Astral Plane" (stream here).