The snowy vistas and verdant forests of Finland are more often associated with the grimmest of black metal pandas than the out-there world of psychedelia but it seems no-one told Riihimäki natives Death Hawks, for they have just released their third album in the short space of four years and sound as if they have just stepped off a Californian freeway, so breezy and sun-kissed is their third album Sun Future Moon (Svart).
Employing elements from a variety of disparate genres including blues and world music, DeathHawks clearly have no musical boundaries and like all good psych, aim to transport the listener to a different world altogether. Opening track ‘Hey Ya Sun Ra’ is a languid, trippy opener you might hear at a hippy yoga retreat as thoughtful keys intermingle with heavy-lidded vocals and skittish yet gentle drums. The pace quickens on the engaging ‘Ripe Fruits’; an upbeat hip-shaking little number where trumpet, jangling piano and spacy keyboard swells co-exist gracefully. ‘Dream Machine’ follows with its engaging vocal hooks, instantly hummable guitar licks and those ever-present bubbling sound effects in the background to remind you that Dorothy, we’re not in Kansas anymore.
Unfortunately, the middle and second part of the record fail to maintain the levels of intrigue and beguiling wonder that the first part set so well. ‘Behind Thyme’ is a deadly boring stroll through pastoral acoustic folk that you half suspect will segue into ‘Kum ba yah’ at any minute, ‘Seaweed’ is the kind of elevator muzak meets whale-song that plays in shops that sell dreamcatchers and crystal skulls, while the lazy synths of ‘Wing Wah’ are what you’ll hear at a psy-trance rave at 5am when the DJ decides to make stuff up on the hoof.
Truly a record of two halves, Sun Future Moon has some treats for those who enjoy quirky psychedelic rock but far too much quasi-mystic fooling about for this embittered scribe.
Roadburn Festival has new additions to their 20th edition of the festival, taking place April 9-12, 2015 in Tilberg, The Netherlands.
Roadburn 2015’s curators Wardruna’s Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik and Enslaved’s Ivar Bjørnson have almost completed the line up for their event on Friday April 10. Loop main man, Robert Hampson and Swedish psych heroes, Agusa will both perform alongside Focus, Death Hawks, Sólstafir and others. BardSpec – the Ambient project/band from Enslaved composer/guitarist Ivar – will also perform at the event. Einar will present a workshop which will delve into his approach to music and the extensive creative concept behind Wardruna´s ongoing ‘Runaljod’ trilogy as well as his approach and study of the runes and other Norse esoteric arts. He will demonstrate a selection of the oldest Nordic instruments, play fully accoustic Wardruna music and there will also be time for questions from the audience.
Other bands added to the event include:
Gnaw Their Tongues
City of Ships
Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell
Roadburn 2015 just got a lot sludgier with the addition of NOLA sludge legends Eyehategod. The New Orleans five piece will join the likes of Fields Of The Nephilim , Enslaved and Bongripper at next years event which will take place from the 9th to the 12th April. Also added to next year’s event are prog rockers Focus and post-black metallers Tombs.
Nola’s Eyehategod To Inflict Double The Anguish And Pain On Roadburn 2015
Dutch prog rock legends Focus confirmed for Ivar Bjørnson’s and Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik’s Houses of the Holistic at Roadburn Festival 2015
Tombs, Black Anvil, Death Hawks and Pekko Käppi & K:H:H:L have also been confirmed for Roadburn 2015.
We’re beyond excited to welcome seminal New Orleans, Louisana sluge-legends Eyehategod back to the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival at the 013 venue in Tilburg,The Netherlands, with two sets of their unique, Southern hardcore-blues-sludge-and-doom on Thursday, April 9 at the main stage, and in HetPatronaat, Friday, April 10.
With its hateful, hopeless, anguished vocals set against extra-slow Iommi-inspired riffing,Eyehategod are credited with founding sludge-core, one of the most vital new genres of metal to emerge from the 1990’s. Countless bands have followed their footsteps, and after more than 20 years of creating some of the most corrosive, vile music known to man,Eyehategod still hasn’t lost the piss and vinegar, propaganda, and despair that fueled them back in 1988.
Over the years, Eyehategod have had more than their fair share of hardship, and recently suffered the tragic loss of drummer and founding member, Joey LaCaze. The new, self titled release from Eyehategod, the follow up to 2000’s Confederacy Of Ruined Lives, sees LaCaze’s drum tracks appear posthumously on this classic of the genre.
The album personifies desperation and addiction in the various backwaters of forgotten America, punctuated by the N’awlins sound of rebellion and pollution resulting in triumph over adversity. Come experience transcendence through malevolence as EyehategoddefaceRoadburn 2015.
We’re equally excited to announce that Dutch prog rock legends Focus have been confirmed for Houses of the Holistic, Ivar Bjørnson‘s (Enslaved) and Wardruna’s Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik‘s curated Roadburn event on Friday, April 10 at the 013 venue inTilburg, The Netherlands.
With their unique brand of progressive rock, Focus established themselves at the start of the 70s as the most successful and appreciated of all the Dutch pop-rock exports. Fronted by founding member Thijs Van Leer, and best known for their hits Hocus Pocus,House of The King and Sylvia, as well as critically acclaimed albums Moving Waves, Focus 3 and Hamburger Concerto, Focus regrouped with a fantastic new line up in the early 2000s, which resulted in several well received albums, like Focus 9 / New Skin and Focus X.
Focus today consists of Thijs van Leer on vocals, flute and keyboards, and famed Focus drummer Pierre van der Linden, who joined the group on their second album Moving Waves in 1972. Internationally renowned for his rhythmic skills, Pierre remains a defining factor in the Focus sound. Bassist Bobby Jacobs, who comes from an acclaimed Dutch musical family and guitarist Menno Gootjes, who participated in Focus at an earlier stage, complete the band’s current line-up.
“If you know anything about prog beyond “old Genesis, not the new stuff”, you know Focus – an extremely influential band for any band in the progressive tradition that came after them; whether its progressive Metal like we try to fool around with, or purer retro-prog (a funny combination of concepts, by the way)”, says Enslaved’s Ivar Bjørnson. “Focus embodies everything that is true “Prog” for me: the incorporation of the classical elements, the tongue-in-cheek playfulness across times, genres and geography – and of course extraordinary musicianship. These highly vital legends has also shown amazing form live these days, so having freakin’ FOCUS accepting our invitation for our curated day. To put it simple, straight-forward and un-proggy: a dream come through!!!”
Pekko Käppi & K:H:H:L and Death Hawks have also been confirmed for Ivar Bjørnson’s and Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik’s Houses of the Holistic on Friday, April 10.
As huge admirers of Tombs blackened ferocity, we simply couldn’t resist bringing this primordial killing machine back to the 20th edition of Roadburn on Saturday, April 11.
Straight from the filthy sewers of New York City, Black Anvil will hail death at Roadburn 2015 on Saturday, April 11.
In related news: Tickets for the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival, set for April 9 – 12 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands, will go on sale on Thursday, October 16,2014.
Set your alarm and get ready to score your tickets at 21:00 CET! (20:00 UK | 22:00 Finland, Greece | 3pm East coast | 12pm West coast).
By sheer coincidence, and I swear this is true, as I sat down in the late afternoon sun in my back yard to write up this review, a hawk swooped down on a flying pigeon right before me. The pair plunged to the ground and over the next ten minutes there was a terrible flapping, shrieking, and a slow, torturous death. At one stage the hawk looked at me for a while, as if warning me not to interfere, and once its prey was dead, launched itself skyward once more to find a place to feast on the warm body. Continue reading →