Friday, November 24, 2017

A Ripple Conversation With Esben Willems Of Monolord

Can you define the bands vision when you're creating music?

Esben Willems: Our vision is to always keep exploring our band sound and always aim at making the next live show or the next album better than the previous one.

Tell me about your live shows! Do you have any rituals before you go on stage?

EW: Since we're all vegetarians we don't sacrifice baby goats, we're also atheists and don't believe in supernatural beings to summon, so we're having difficulties finding a fitting ritual to perform. But for the time being, black coffee and talking backwards in a dimly lit room will do.

How has the band progressed as a live act since its first live-performance?

EW: I think that's more a question to our audience, how they experience a live show compared to the first time they saw us. For us, it's being a more tight knit unit, we have developed a mutual understanding, you know when you can read each other's minds almost, you know what your band mates are doing next without having to communicate that, it's implied. Hard to explain, but that feeling is just amazing. When the band is one collective unit.

Any specific memorable concerts so far?

EW: I love those intimate and intense shows, when the venue is packed, the audience is up close and the air is vibrating from the heat. For me, that's the pure essence of a live show; you're one with the audience.

How do you translate the record into a liveshow?

EW: We always record with the feeling of the live sound as a reference, so there really is not much of any adaptation. Before tours we rehearse until the songs are in our backbones, from there's it's just go.

Could you imagine when you started the band that you would be a well respected band with many tours overseas and a constant growing fanbase?

EW: No.

Have you met any reaction on your latest effort ”Rust”?

EW: The response from our fans have been overwhelming, on top of that we've been getting great reviews, a massive stream of superlatives, almost hard to comprehend.

Did you notice any change in the way people react if you compare it to your other records?

EW: Only that many seems to like the minor difference in sound, like the addition of other instruments here and there.

You record your own records!  Bad or Negative? Both?
EW: There is always positive and negative sides to everything. But the bonuses with recording yourself is that you can use your time just as you please, you're not limited to a specific time frame in which you need to deliver your absolute best, and then some. That pressure can sometimes kill the joy and inspiration, so at least we don't have to deal with that aspect of the process.

When writing for a new record. Can describe the process? What comes first ? Are you a jamming band or do you have it all clear when entering the studio?

EW: There's no specific formula or set process. We always work on new music, in several kinds of ways, so when it's approaching album recording time we start with narrowing the current ideas down to the material we feel is would make an album we can be proud of.

What’s the ingredient when you're crafting the massive record sound of yours?

EW: It seems like there's a perpetual search for the holy grail of sound, but the harsh reality is that there is no magic ingredient. Hard work and open ears is all you need.

You seem to be a band who write about what's going on in the world. Do you get any comments about not writing the usual doom-lyrics?

EW: Yes.

Do you have any favorite child on the new record?

EW: If by child you mean song, every song is our favorite. We wouldn't have recorded them otherwise.

What song makes the audience go bananas?

EW: Whenever any cover band plays Bon Jovi's ”You Give Love a Bad Name”. I still don't get that.

Whats the reason behind the success of so many Scandinavian bands?

EW: Garlic, coffee, the polar bears roaming every street in every town, atheism and the resistance against the royal family.

When recording Rust you used several different instruments such as strings and organ and especially the violin in “Wormland”. I think the violin picks up the octave from the guitar and rides the song out. Is this a direction you will explore even more on the upcoming records?

EW: We don't make decisions like that, we go with the flow of the songs and what we think the feel of them are, so if we feel the addition of a specific instrument will get us there we'll add that, if not we won't.

What gear are you using when recording?

EW: Basic gear, the sound is not in the gear, it's in how you use it.

What’s up for the rest of 2017 in the catacombs of Monolord?

EW: We're on tour with Conan at the moment, covering most of Europe. Great fun! After that, we only have one more show this year, the mini festival Vintersabbat in Oslo.


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Throbbing Gristle: 40th Anniversary Event at Rough Trade NYC

Photo: Throbbing Gristle



Mute and Rough Trade are pleased to announce a special Q&A and signing with Genesis Breyer P-Orridge of Throbbing Gristle at Rough Trade NYC on November 24. Moderating the discussion will be T. Cole Rachel of The Creative Independent. The Brooklyn event follows a similar occasion held earlier this month at Rough Trade East in London with Throbbing Gristle’s Cosey Fanni Tutti and Chris Carter. Further information regarding the Brooklyn Q&A and signing is available here.

The Rough Trade event coincides with the first in a series of reissues on Mute, starting with the 40th anniversary of their debut album release, The Second Annual Report.

On November 24, The Second Annual Report, presented as a limited edition white vinyl release in the original packaging and also on double CD, and 20 Jazz Funk Greats, on green vinyl and double CD, will be released along with, The Taste Of TG: A Beginner’s Guide to Throbbing Gristle with an updated track listing that will include “Almost A Kiss” (from 2007’s Part Two: Endless Not). This will be the first time The Taste Of TG has been available on vinyl and will be presented on double red vinyl alongside a CD and digital release. For those not attending the Rough Trade event, stream and order the reissues via the links below.

The Second Annual Report
20 Jazz Funk Greats
Taste of TG

The Second Annual Report, the first album from Throbbing Gristle, came out originally on November 4, 1977 and launched the career of one of the most politically and sonically antagonistic bands of all time.

Throbbing Gristle are Chris Carter, Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson (who sadly passed away on November 25, 2010), Cosey Fanni Tutti and Genesis Breyer P-Orridge. Their impact on music, culture and the arts is immeasurable and still felt today.

November’s anniversary releases will be followed by further catalog releases in 2018.

TBC 2018
D.o.A. The Third And Final Report
Heathen Earth
Part Two: Endless Not
Mission Of Dead Souls
Greatest Hits
Journey Through A Body
In The Shadow Of The Sun

2017 saw Throbbing Gristle’s catalog available on streaming services for the first time. Mute and Throbbing Gristle will continue the reissues series, creating previously unreleased box sets and making available long out-of-print and important pieces of work.



STB Records Celebrates 5 Years!

Its True!! STB Records is going to be 5 years old! How insane is that!! To celebrate I am putting everything in the STB Records store ON SALE for 30% off!! EVERYTHING!. Not only that, every order will get a FREE copy of an unreleased version of one of my records!! That is right! FREE VINYL!! People First! This is relationship business not show business...

I want to extend a heart felt thank you to each and everyone of you who have supported wheather it be from day 1 or just this week. You all are equally important and help STB Records continue to grow and pursue its mission to create a movement. This fight has no meaning unless we ALL grow together. So again, Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Stay Punk in your minds and Heavy in your hearts.

Steve STB

TOKE "Orange"
STB - 28 TOKE - ORANGE - On Sale Saturday Dec 9th 12 noon EST

STB 28 - TOKE "Orange" - Repress comes with 2 new VINYL ONLY TRACKS

    Sunshine of Your Love - Originally by Cream
    Limb from Limb - Originally by Motorhead

Rick Contes from “Young And In The Way” did guest solos on limb from limb!

Test Pressing - 15 units - Comes hand numbered with a SUPER exclusive laser etched WOOD cover.

Die Hard -75 units - 180g vinyl - Half Transparent Orange / Half Clear - with black splatter in a heavy weight euro version jacket with two diff color foil stamping.. Comes with an exclusive TOKE "Orange" cast ring, a 4ft x 4ft TOKE "Orange" silk banner, and a TOKE "Orange" Back patch for your battle vest!

OBI Edition: - 100 units-  Clear with a black center and orange splatter. Printed OBI Strip - Made to look like "Toke Brand" rolling papers. hand numbered. Jacket with - spot UV

Standard Edition - 125 units-  Clear with black and orange splatter Jacket with - spot UV

Save your alarms and mark your calendars. These will go FAST!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Xroadie Files

Deathcrush – Hell
Luigi Cara – Vocals/Bass, Andrea Sechi – Guitar, Giampiero Serra – Drums

Incest Of The Wretched is Slayer thrash with death metal vocals and blast beats.  Eucharisty Of Worms more annihilation of sounds and grinding riffs.  Lost In The Vortex of Heretics just grinds thru you and tears you apart.  Blasphemik Souls has more of a classic metal riff then the deep vocals just pound into your very being.  Dethroned Archangels is Metallica meets Slayer meets Death.  Mors Mori 3002 evil slowly builds into Crowning The Beast which just grabs you and slams you to the ground over and over.  Spreading The Chaos is just that, a chaos of sounds that just runs you over. King Of Rats keeps up the blast beats and fast riffs along with the demonic vocals.  Deny The Cricifix starts slow and steady boring into your very essence and dragging you to hell.

Diuna – The Very Best Of The Golden Hits
Maciek Klimiuk, Patryk Mitzig, Jakub Didkowski, Konstanty Mierjewski

Smiec W Czerwcu is a very blues based stoner style of song that just has your head a bobbin and feet tappin that also has some interesting twists and turns.  Klamstwa Szatana is blues mixed with stoner mixed with psychedelia very interesting to sit back and trip to.  Uczta is mid-tempo song that has a very Sabbath style to it.  Zielony Syn slow steady and plodding with rough deep vocals.  Szron has a guitar riff that is Hendrix meets Stevie Ray Vaughn with a slow bluesy riff with a very strange ending.  Afekt Bladawy blues meets stoner meets psychedelia.  Filozofia Dialogu a fast tempo bluesy rockabilly riff mixed with stoner rock vocals has a Motorhead sound to it.  Telmo Sisso slow and melodic then a grinding riff moves in and goes back and forth for 9 minutes of pure musical tripping. 

Eccentric Pendalum  - Tellurian Concepts
Vibhas – Drums, Ankit – Guitar, Arjun – Guitar, Arun – Bass, Kaushal – Vocals

Tellurian I Nil strange sounds and moods that just make you trip away to a far place.  Tellurian II Accelerated Extinction old style Pink Floyd psychedelia with death metal vocals strange and different.  Tellurian III Contrivance is more of a metal riff with some blast beats and prog keyboards very different.

Fragarak – A Spectral Oblivion
Supritam Sen – Vocals, Kartikeya Sinha – Bass, Arpit Pradhan – Guitar, Ruben Franklin – Guitar, Louis Rando – Drums

In Rumination 1 The Void excellent acoustic guitar then a riff that melds in with some deep evil vocals in the background that slowly move their way to the front then back to the acoustic guitar.  In Rumination II Reflections melancholy and moody with some very evil intent.  The Phaneron Eclipsed more great acoustic guitar work with choral vocals the music builds and builds along with some demonic vocals.  Alucinari 1 Transcendence a classical style of song that melds into Fathom Of Delirium which is a straight forward death metal song with some prog elements.  Alucinari II Revelations is a very folky style of song that leads into Spectre An Oblivion Awakens that is classic progressive death metal with a few twists and turns.  Alucinari III Reverie is a great acoustic melancholy style of song to just drift along with.  This Chastising Masquerade is death metal screams and heavy riffs that just pound you into the ground.  Of Ends Ethereal 12 minutes of just pure progressive death metal with many changes that take you down a weird winding path.  Alucinari IV   The Fall acoustic guitar and spoken words that drift off into the distance.

Invertia – The Crimson Screen Vol 1

David Coppola- Guitar/Bass/FX/Samples, Tim Winson – Drums/Programming/FX/Keyboards

Lykanthropos in your face rammed down your throat death metal with vocals from the depths of hell. Cast No Shadow weird sounds building with a strange riff and deep growling vocals.  Face On His Face industrial sounds and a rumbling bass that builds till it rips your face off.  Created From Cadavers more industrial sounds and tv sounds with weird heavy riffs that just kick you in the teeth.


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.

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



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

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