FESTIVAL REVIEW: Oblivion Access – Various Venues – Austin, Texas


 

After a two year postponement, Oblivion Access Festival finally happened! Although I couldn’t attend all four days of festivities, I drove up to Austin, TX on Saturday to catch the legendary hardcore Youth of Today! It only took over three decades to finally see them lol. The festival was quite an undertaking, involving a lot of local Austin venues on 5th, 6th, and 7th Street. After 3 /12 hours of driving I was ready to stretch my legs, get some blood moving and stay cool in the humid Texas heat. Picking up my passes was a breeze as there were signs posted at Native Hostel directing you to the kind staff who greeted people with friendly smiles and words of encouragement to enjoy themselves.

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FESTIVAL PREVIEW: Oblivion Access Brings a Unique Experience to Music Festivals in Texas This Weekend


Oblivion Access, the eclectic music festival metal, hardcore, hip-hop, electronic, avant-garde, and punk music takes palce this weekend around Austin, Texas. The multi-venue music festival returns to downtown Austin on May 12-15. Tickets are on sale now! Over 100+ artists are now set to perform including Blonde Redhead, Carcass, The Body, Windhand, Deaf Club, Xiu Xiu, Autopsy, Converge, Full of Hell, Zola Jesus, Youth of Today, Danny, Coven, Grouper, Andy Morin (of Death Grips), The Microphones, HO99O9, Massacre, Cities Aviv, King Woman, Billy Woods, and KTRK, and many others. There is also a plethora of other experiences, vendors villages, merch, food, and other experiences on tap. Check out our day by day guide of the can’t miss artists, set times, and other happenings at Oblivion Access.

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Danny Brown, Grouper, Andy Morin (Death Grips), The Microphones, HO99O9, Massacre, Cities Aviv, King Woman, and More Booked for Oblivion Access


Oblivion Access, the eclectic music festival highlighting hip-hop, electronic, avant-garde, and punk has added tremendous new names to the ever expanding bill. The multi-venue music festival returns to downtown Austin on May 12-15. Tickets to each of the newly announced festival concerts will go on sale tomorrow, Friday, February 11th, 2022 at 10 a.m. CT via the link below, in addition to a limited amount of full festival badges at the link below. Joining the lineup are Danny Brown to help headline the expanded four-day fest in addition to other new performers like Grouper, Andy Morin (of Death Grips), The Microphones, HO99O9, Massacre, Cities Aviv, King Woman, Billy Woods, and KTRK, among others. Over 100+ artists are now set to perform including previously announced acts Blonde Redhead, Carcass, The Body, Windhand, Deaf Club, The Locust, Xiu Xiu, Autopsy, Converge, Full of Hell, Zola Jesus, and Youth of Today.

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REVIEWS ROUNDUP: Kurokuma, Sleepwulf, Fostermother, Hazemaze, and Obsidian Sea


Kurokuma Born Of Obsidian

Having released multiple EPs and splits since their 2014 formation, Born Of Obsidian is the first proper full-length from Kurokuma. The UK group plays a style that could be best described as ritualistic Sludge Metal, incorporating tribal percussion somewhere between Sepultura circa Roots and Gojira overseen by a hypnotic aura not unlike Oranssi Pazuzu. The former influences are most immediately apparent on the one-two punch of ‘Smoking Mirror’ and ‘Sacrifice to Huitzilopochtli,’ which are largely driven by downright bouncy rhythmic chugs punctuated with extra fuzz.

 

However, the band’s atmospheric side gets time to shine as the album goes on. ‘Jaguar’ saves the harsher guitar crashes for its climax, allowing the percussion to provide a more subtle buildup that is given even greater precedence on ‘Ololiuqui’ and the closing ‘Under The Fifth Sun.’ It’s an accessible listen as far as this sort of freakout sludge goes; the less than forty-minute runtime isn’t too tough to digest, and the rhythmic focus gives it a more pulsating presence than most. A strong journey suited well to the balance of brutal and trancelike.

8 / 10

 

SleepwulfSunbeams Curl

Sleepwulf’s second album, Sunbeams Curl (Heavy Psych Sounds) continues down the path of Doomy Occult Rock set up by their 2020 self-titled debut. The mood is a tinge more ominous with a slightly heavier push in the guitars and tighter drumming, but the vocals retain that jovial warble with enough of that rustic aesthetic to trigger comparisons to Witchcraft, Kadaver, and Graveyard.


‘Stoned Ape’ and ‘Toad Licker Mushroom Picker’ are the biggest highlights, adding some extra Psychedelia as suggested by their righteous titles, while ‘Man Under The Mountain’ dares to stomp into full-on Doom territory. It’s a simple package perhaps better done these days by groups like Green Lung and Magic Circle, but enjoyable enough to satisfy fans of those bands looking for more of the same.

7 / 10

 

FostermotherThe Ocean

Fostermother’s sophomore album sees some considerable expansions to their Shoegaze-informed brand of Heavy Psych. In addition to a move to Ripple Music giving The Ocean a larger platform than before, the songs noticeably run longer and play heavier than those on their 2020 self-titled debut. The album isn’t too drastically different from its predecessor but upgrading to a trio lineup certainly gives the proceedings some appropriate power.


Putting more emphasis on the Doom portion of Stoner Doom admittedly makes for less varied songwriting, but this methodical approach works well in its own ways. The guitar and bass fuzz are as thick as ever with the vocal effects providing an ethereal contrast without getting too overwhelmed. Things really pick up in the second half as ‘Unholiest Of Days’ and ‘Redeemer’ put in more upbeat hustles, the former seeming to channel classic The Sword, that are strongly counteracted by the title track’s particularly oppressive riff set. It may not have the same quirky appeal for me as the debut, but The Ocean is a worthy step forward.

8 / 10

 

HazemazeBlinded By The Wicked

Hazemaze plays the sort of Doom Metal that’s somewhere between Cathedral and Electric Wizard, driven by fuzzy mid-tempo riffs and an occult aesthetic without getting too zoned out. Their third album, Blinded By The Wicked (Heavy Psych Sounds), offers more of the same albeit with a somewhat darker tinge than their previous efforts. While the execution is admittedly vanilla at times, there are some strong songs that come out of it.

 

‘Divine Harlotry’ is my pick of the litter for its winning riff and equally catchy chorus with ‘Malevolent Inveigler’ coming close with its thicker riff set. There’s also promise in the atmospheric keys on ‘Ceremonial Aspersion’ and ‘Luciferian Rite.’ Another album that’s simple in design with a style arguably done better elsewhere, but enjoyable enough to warrant a listen.

7 / 10

Obsidian SeaPathos

Obsidian Sea has seen some neat evolution since they formed in 2009, rooted in Saint Vitus-esque Traditional Doom and gradually picking up a more laid back, Psychedelic disposition ala Orodruin, Pale Divine, and Kings Destroy. Their fourth album, Pathos (Ripple Music), pushes the trajectory forward even further with the hazy overtones threatening to completely overtake the Doom riffage. Fortunately, it’s a natural transition as the guitars keep an organic vibe, the vocals are pleasantly workmanlike, and the structures allow for plenty of jammed out instrumental segments.


In a fun twist, the more mellow tracks may be where the album shines the most. ‘The Long Drowning’ is a pretty smooth Blues track complete with climactic speedup, ‘I Love The Woods’ has an almost Folky touch appropriate for its pastoral theme. Elsewhere, ‘Sisters’ has an almost Grungy swagger and ‘The Meaning of Shadows’ closes the album with its most disorienting, Prog-oriented structure. It’s great to see the evolution that came about with 2019’s Strangers followed-up with even bolder confidence.

 

8 / 10

CHRIS LATTA


CONCERT REVIEW: Moon Tooth – Johnny Booth – Astronoid: Live at The Gramercy Theatre


The Christmas season is upon us and you know what that means…HOLIDAY SHOWS! Long Island locals Moon Tooth recently put on their holiday bash at the Gramercy Theater in Manhattan and boy, did they sleigh it!

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Watch Light The Torch Live at Saint Vitus Bar


Light The Torch (ex Killswitch Engage, ex All Shall Perish) has shared a full concert video from 2018, of the band performing their first show under the moniker. Prior to this show, they were known as Devil You Know. This show was recorded by and presented by Revolver Magazine. The band si working on a new album, hopefully out in 2021 or sooner. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Wino – Forever Gone


As much as Wino deserves his doom godfather status for fronting groups like The Obsessed and Saint Vitus, there’s something to be said for his more recent singer/songwriter excursions. Whether going it alone or with such collaborators as Conny Ochs, the acoustic style suits him surprisingly well and the volume contrast brings a fuller perspective to his haggard lifer persona. This is especially true for his third album, Forever Gone (Ripple Music), which may be his most low-key effort to date.Continue reading


Wino (The Obsessed, Saint Vitus) Signs with Ripple Music, New Acoustic Series Unveiled


House of Blues, Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV 8/17/19

Ripple Music, purveyors of some of the best Heavy Music on the planet have announced the signing of Doom and Stoner Metal icon Scott “Wino” Weinrich. Wino’s new solo album, Forever Gone, will launch Ripple’s new “Blood and Strings” series, in which some of the most admired names in riff-rock and metal unplug to record albums of acoustic heaviness. Wino is, of course, the iconic singer and guitarist associated with some of the biggest names in the genre, such as The Obsessed, Saint Vitus, Spirit Caravan, The Hidden Hand and Shrinebuilder. Wino’s new solo album was produced by Frank Marchand, and more details about the album and “Blood and Strings” are coming soon. Continue reading


Saint Vitus – Saint Vitus


At what point does a band stop striving and just settles into a never-ending victory lap? Take L.A.’s finest Doom Metal group, Saint Vitus, who’ve been at it since the late seventies, and pretty much defined the genre in the eighties. And yet, here we are, in 2019, and a new self-titled album (Season of Mist) from the band is due out soon. It also sees the return of the band’s first lead singer, Scott Reagers, after a twenty-four-year break.Continue reading