Today is the day! America’s best underground brutal, blackened underground music festival, Shadow Woods Metal Fest begins today. Although a few bands have been last minute cancellations due to Hurrican Florence and Ghost Bath canceled their entire tour due to van troubles, the festival is 100%taking place with only rain expected at Camp Hidden Valley, in Whitehall Maryland. The lineup includes Abigail Williams, Xasthur, Aether Realm, Rozamov, Heavy Temple, A Sound of Thunder, Barishi, Destroyer of Light, Husbandry, God Root, Hepatagua, Cloak, Wolvhammer, Imperial Triumphant, Black Mass, and many more. Tickets are still available at the gate for you late deciders. Continue reading
Shadow Woods Metal Fest has announced the full lineup for the 2018 edition, their fourth year in a row. Returning for the fourth year in a row. Taking place from September 20th to 22nd, at Harper’s Ferry Adventure Center in Purcell, VA against the backdrop against the epic Blue Ridge Mountains, Shadow Woods IV features UADA, Tombs, Xasthur, Heavy Temple, All Hell, Bound By The Grave, Barishi, Destroyer Of Light, God Root, Husbandry, Imperial Triumphant, Rozamov, Wayfaerer, and many more listed below. Tickets are on sale now. Continue reading
Prog metallers Moon Tooth and sludge/doom band Rozamov have kicked off a tour together, starting tonight in Kingston, NY. Moon Tooth is supporting their recent album Chomparagon, while Rozamov is getting ready to release a new album for 2017.
Moon Tooth and Rozamov tour dates:
Jun 16: The Anchor – Kingston, NY
Jun 17: Monty’s Krown – Rochester, NY
Jun 18: Crobar – Motreal, CA
Jun 19: Smiling Buddha – Toronto, CA
Jun 20: Nectar’s – Burlington, VT
Boston’s sludge and doom metal merchants Rozamov are hitting the road next week with Moon Tooth on a tour that will take both bands through some new territories, surely making new fans. We caught up with the power trio recently to discuss the upcoming tour, the progress of their new album, their approach to songwriting, and that time when they saw Slayer warm up with a Journey cover:
Rozamov is hitting the road with Moon Tooth in June. What you most looking forward to for the tour?
Tom Corino: I’m most looking forward to getting to see a little bit of Canada and to play outside the country for the first time. I’ve wanted to get the band north of the border for a while, it feels great to be getting on the road again even for a short little run. It’s the first tour with Yianni so it’ll be a good way to see what it’s like to tour together with the new lineup too.
Matt Iacovelli Each tour has its own flavor and rhythm so it will be interesting to see how this group of people interact.
Yianni Tranxidis: For this short run, were most excited to visit Canada for the first time. This will be ours & Moon Tooth’s first Canada shows, so it’ll be an interesting experience to see how the shows will go.
After the tour, are you guys hitting the studio straight away, or are their more songs to write still for the new album? Can we expect the album in 2016, or next year?
Tom: We hit the studio last year and have the finished product ready to go. We recorded with Jon Taft at New Alliance East, which was a great experience. That studio is a great little room and Jon was great to bounce ideas off of. We’re working with a couple labels on different formats for release and we’re getting artwork and such together. It’s looking like an early 2017 release right now, we were hoping to get the record out this year but we didn’t want to rush anything considering how long vinyl turnaround can take these days. This way, everything will be out at the same time and no one will be left waiting around for vinyl to show up.
Matt: We are in the process of getting the artwork together.
Yianni: After this tour, we’re going to be writing more material, as well as finishing up the details for our upcoming album with Rozamov’s former drummer.
Matt: Hopefully it will see release early next year. We have some interested parties involved so things are looking good in that dept. I can’t give you any super specific details just yet.
The ‘Ghost Divine’ track from the split 7-inch with Deathkings was great, and seemed to mark a new direction for the band. Will hear more of that style?
Tom: ‘Ghost Divine’ is a lot faster than the material on the new record but the vibe from that song will certainly be present on the record. The new album is by far the heaviest collection of songs we’ve done to date, reflecting the 2014-2015 winter when a good chunk of the record was written. I know I certainly was not in a good place at that time, being buried under 110 inches of snow will do that, so it’s a pretty dark record.
Matt: Not as far as speed or delivery but maybe in feel and over all tone..Ghost Divine was a step apart from really anything we’ve done. In truth we were building a record around that very song, it got picked up by Ryan from Midnite Collective and the rest is history..but the new material is slower and more deliberate its a little more bleak, a little more doom that before.
Yianni: “Ghost Divine” was definitely a huge shift in sound for the band, as it incorporates a mixture of heavy, complex, and driving riffs, while still keeping the core of our Doom sound. A lot of dynamics, and rhythmic changes, which definitely pushed us to write something we haven’t written before. I believe that we’re a band that will always have something different to offer, so I wouldn’t be surprised if our future material will sound a lot like this, and pushing the boundaries even more.
What is the writing process like for the band? Is it a constant group effort, or do the individual members bring in their own material?
Tom: We usually write together in the practice space, it’s just the way Matt and I do best. Matt comes up with a good chunk of the original ideas for a riff and we’ll hash it out together in the space. Sometimes we bring in ideas that we’ve written on our own but a lot of those ideas either don’t fly or get dramatically changed in the room. Matt and I push each other to write stuff that’s interesting to the both of us and we can get pretty brutal on each other’s ideas. I think we both work best when we have someone to bounce ideas off of and to push someone in the right direction when they are onto something and struggling.
Matt: I think we just went for it and wrote 3 songs, as yet to be played live, they won’t see Canada this time. Every person has a personality so it will always change the vibe.
Yianni: In terms of the writing process, we all collaborate together. We’ll usually have one or two riffs that one of us have had, and bring them into the practice space, however we do a really good job at making fresh new riffs when we’re together. After that, we work on each segment, and figure out how we want to piece it all together. Being a new member, it’s always going to be interesting seeing how that will influence a band’s writing process, however when we work on riffs, we all talk about it together, and welcome ideas from all sides, so I’ve felt very welcome to bring my ideas to the tables.
You’ve had some turnover in the band the last few years, and now have a new drummer. With two longtime writing partners, how hard is it to incorporate a new person into the mix?
Tom: We try to always be writing. We were writing new material almost immediately after the recording sessions for the new record were over, before we had made the change behind the kit. Each change in the lineup has molded us and changed us as a band, and hopefully the same goes for those band mates. Yianni brings his own flavor to the band and allows us to try out ideas we’ve wanted to attempt but couldn’t before. We’re still getting used to him in a writing capacity so we’ll see where it ends up in the long run, but we’re just excited to bring a new outlook to the band.
Matt: It’s a constant group effort. I write a lot of the riffs but its a definite group deal. We are very serious about the sound and so we are brutal as fuck and… not every riff i write is good, honestly we kill more riffs than we keep.
The band has already shared the stage with some major acts and played a few large festivals. What is your favorite gig so far and the one gig to play or band in the world that is your dream to play with someday?
Tom: I’d say that my favorite show we’ve played so far was the Rubber Tracks gig with Slayer and Doomriders. I’ve been a fan of Slayer since I was in high school so to see those guys for the first time in a 500 cap room as the opening act was a dream come true. Playing with Doomriders was also absolutely great. Any day Nate Newton says your band was rad after your set is a good day in my book, and we’ve become friendly with those guys since.
Matt: Well Slayer and Pyscho (California) Fest were highlights for sure. Slayer had its own thing going, its own style and vibe. It was cool to see them sound check with some Journey….What?!
Yianni: Ever since I joined the band, we only played a couple of shows, however my favorite one was our show with Intronaut, Scale the Summit, and North, which was on March 30th at the Downstairs Middle East. That was a really fun time. I think the whole band would agree that sharing the stage with Mastodon would be a dream come true. We’re all very big fans of them, and highly influenced by their groundbreaking sound.
INTERVIEW BY KEITH CHACHKES
That Boston’s Rozamov is an excellent band won’t surprise too many that have seen them live, or checked out their available tuneage. Their 2013 short player of Gods And Flesh was a flesh peeler and an ear opener to me for sure. Plus, it had some seriously sick artwork if I recollect. Their split with Deathkings, released a year ago showed a further exposition to the style they started, unafraid to take chances musically, yet playing to their strengths as a unit. If groups like early Mastodon, High On Fire, YOB, Black Tusk, Pallbearer, and Vallenfyre are your thing, this band will be right in your wheelhouse. In advance of an interview we are brewing with the band; Matt Lambert photographed them in their natural habitat for Ghost Cult. You can see them here, destroying it live at this hometown gig at the Middle East Nite Club, while opening for Intronaut and Scale The Summit. The band hits the road in June for a short run of tour dates with Moon Tooth. Their new album will follow later this year.
It’s Friday, you’re out of work, and everyone’s either at the bar or out on a date. What’s a girl to do? Make her way down to Cambridge, MA to catch a show at the Middle East Upstairs with her friends, obviously.
Homegrown trio Rozamov took the stage first. I was familiar with them in name, but not in sound. I’m sure fans of doom would have enjoyed them but things require a little more energy and variety to keep my short attention span engaged. It wasn’t until the final song in their set that I started to get into things. I don’t remember what it was called but I believed the band mentioned that it was going to be featured on an upcoming split so keep an eye out for that.Gozu, Photo by Meg Loyal Photography
Also hailing from Boston, MA were my favorite surprise of the evening; Gozu. Again, I was familiar with their name but not their music. I can’t say enough great things about this band and I’m actually listening to their album Locust Season (Small Stone Records) as I write this. It’s some dirty, stoner rock that makes you want to knock back a few beers and maybe one of your friends. In my case, the evening involved a lot of shaking my friends due to my excitement and an inability to shut up about their bassist. So, business as usual, really.
Exalt brought their brand of metalcore to the stage next. I have never been much of a metalcore fan and as such, there were bits and pieces of songs that I enjoyed but nothing that I could really get into overall. It may prove to be a different story for fans of the genre. They were interesting to watch if anything and I can appreciate the hard work put into their performance even if it wasn’t really my thing.
Headlining this little shindig in the tiny show space were the one and only Cancer Bats. I had seen them three times before, as they have a habit of playing with bands I love, but this was my first time having the chance to see the boys headline their own tour in the US. Anyone who has had the chance to see the Bats live before knows that they always bring a lot of energy to their performances. Vocalist Liam Cormier is like a fire cracker in tight pants bouncing around the stage and it’s impossible to avoid getting swept along with him. The set list for the evening primarily revolved around songs in support of their latest release, Searching for Zero (Metal Blade Records). They play some of my favorites off of the album including ‘True Zero’, ‘Arsenic in the Year of the Snake’, ‘Beezlebub’, and ‘Buds’. I would have liked to have heard ‘Cursed with a Conscience’ as well, maybe next time. The set also included fan favorites such as ‘Bricks and Mortar’, ‘Hail Destroyer’, and everyone’s favorite Beastie Boys cover; ‘Sabotage’. I ran into a few bohabs during the course of the evening and even more made themselves known once the band’s tribute to Dave Brockie a.k.a. Oderus Urungus of GWAR, ‘All Hail’, began.
All in all, it was a great show. My main complaint was that Cancer Bats’ set seemed unusually short for a headlining band. I would have liked to have gotten at least another half hour out of them. The sound for the show in general was quieter than I would have expected as well but that may have been because there was another show going on downstairs at the same time. Apart from that, I’d say it was a job well done and now I get to go back to complaining about them needing to tour again until the next one!
WORDS BY ALEIDA LA LLAVE
Psycho California is now set for May 15, 16 and 17, 2015 at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA with Sleep, Pentagram and Cult Of Luna as headliners.
The rest of the previously announced acts include:
Old Man Gloom
Death By Stereo
Samsara Blues Experiment
Destroyer of Light
Lords of Beacon House
It’s been a while since I went to a DIY show and the perfect, and maybe only, reason to rectify that came about on Sunday July 6th, when the collaborative project between Thou and The Body came to a place called “The Firehouse” in Worcester, MA. As is the norm with most DIY shows, this was not in a very safe part of the city by far, so I was glad that four of us drove in together. These kinds of shows are not my favorite things usually, since you just never know what you are going to get. That can be exciting for people I guess, but me? I just want a freaking bathroom, clean running water and one clear exit I can hop out of the second it looks like any sort of trouble. Call me a pansy, I don’t care.
Around 9:30pm the openers, Fórn, began their set. I saw them once before at The Middle East Upstairs and was really distracted by a combination of bad sound and the smell of electrical wires in their gear frying. I felt like they were too concerned with playing loudly than having any substance back then. This set was definitely musically stronger and lacked the overpowered sound of too many amps turned past 11 just because they had them. Instead it seemed like they were attempting to capture the sludge/doom sound by playing it instead of just blasting a slow riff and calling it sludgy. The microphone went out for two songs but other than that there were no problems and they sounded good.
With a quick changeover, Rozamov was next up and the night was moving right along towards the 12am curfew. For me, this was the first time seeing this band as a three piece and although I feel like they could use more guitar somehow, they totally held their own with the stripped down sound. They steamed through their set with intensity enough to keep everyone inside this quickly becoming oxygen poor room. Suffering through the now quickly rising heat and smell of sweaty arm pits, groins and asses (I may have thrown up in my mouth a little just typing that), the crowd was rapt and made no attempt at escaping the hot stench to the outside area.
I went for some air and was quickly followed by a room full of sweaty twenty somethings all either looking for cooler air or a puff of burning tobacco. During the swapping of gear and whatnot, a couple of people in attendance were apparently shot with BB guns by un-identified neighbors; such a nice part of town. One was shot in the head and one in the arm, but luckily nothing serious and apparently they got the BB’s out.
By the time Thou and The Body started to play it was clearly uncomfortable in there and had come close to about forty minutes before the curfew. I have seen both bands individually but had not even checked out the collaboration on-line so I was kind of blindsided by the experience. Was it heavy? That is a stupid question but it was that special kind of heavy that tugs at your innards just so. Not enough to lose control of your bowels but more than enough to make it almost impossible not to bob your head, stomp your feet and grind your teeth just a bit. There was a little of the electronic element The Body is known for as well as the punishing vocals you get from Bryan Funck of Thou and when you put that together with a bassist, 2 drummers and 3 guitars, you have a truly one of a kind set. I would have liked to have heard more of Chip King’s (The Body) vocals but from where I was it was barely audible and I would have been interested to hear the dichotomy of his signature wails with the shredded vocal style of Bryan. They closed the set with a Nine Inch Nails cover of “Terrible Lie” but sadly for me, I had just popped outside to get some air and missed the song. I was told it was amazing. Go see the collaboration if it comes near you. It was worth it and I am glad I braved the BB’s, the locals and the smell of moist, hot body stink to witness it.
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