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

Psycho Las Vegas Announces 2021 Fest with Danzig, Mercyful Fate, Katatonia, Ulver, Emperor, WITTR, and More

Psycho Las Vegas has announced their return in the summer of 2021. If you had tickets for this year, you are in luck! Most of the lineup will return next year, except Rebel Motorcycle Club, Ty Segall & The Freedom Band, and Crowbar. This still looks like one of the best festivals in the world next year, in a year overpacked with re-scheduled events and tours. See the full lineup below. Continue reading

Psycho Las Vegas 2020 Canceled, Festival Set to Return in 2021

Psycho Swim, Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, NV 8/15/19

Psycho Las Vegas has shared the bad news that they have canceled the 2020 festival that was set for August due to ot the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Psycho Las Vegas 2021 has been scheduled to August 19-22, 2021. “Nearly all the bands” have agreed to return for the 2021st dates. The full announcement is expected after they confirm those last bands. Continue reading

CONCERT REVIEW: Today Is The Day – The Obsessed – Somnuri – Prostitution: Live at Market Hotel

There are few lineups that conjure up the magic of underground metal like the twin pairing of Today Is The Day and The Obsessed. Both groups have had an outsized influence on the underground and it’s hard not to be enamored with what they have done for this scene. With their charismatic frontmen, Steve Austin and Wino respectively, this lineup came together as a sort of minor miracle, celebrating the magic of the new Today is the Day record at a release show that reminded those of us in attendance exactly why these guys are viewed as the true masters of noise metal. Riffs and heavy vibes abounded on the Brooklyn faithful, and after a heady warmup set from Prostitution and then punishing riffage from Somnuri, we were ready for the main events! 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

The Obsessed – Sacred

Scott “Wino” Weinrich and The Obsessed were one of the few bands waving the doomy, Black Sabbath-loving flag when, frankly, doom and Sabbath were not cool. They kept the faith during the dark days when it wasn’t cool to like big, slow, heavy riffs. Continue reading

Funeral Horse – Divinity For The Wicked

Funeral-Horse-Divinity2015

Back in the early 90s, doom and stoner were pretty much the uncoolest of genres to be associated with. Playing fast and brutal was the order of the game and those who still clung to the belief that Black Sabbath were the coolest cats to ever strut their stuff were roundly ignored in favour of blastbeats and death grunts.

Now of course the tables have turned and everywhere you care to look you’ll see groups of scruffy young urchins in flares and suspiciously new looking Witchfinder General shirts being hyped to oblivion by record labels eager to show just how hip their latest purveyors of fuzz really are. If they sing about Satan; even better!

Now, without wishing to sound completely cynical, many of these bands are talented, hardworking and deserve to do well. After all, Sabbath really is the greatest and there’s no disputing it. Unfortunately however, there are numerous bands riding the coattails of this retro-rock/doom/stoner trend and Houston, Texas’s Funeral Horse are one of the worst examples.

Debut full length Divinity for the Wicked (Artificial Head) has a stripped down, no-frills sound that reduces the songs to the bare bones of hard rock and stoner. Sadly, the songwriting is generic in the extreme with riffs being repeated over and over with little thought for progression. When the members eventually do decide to switch tempos or riffs, the transitions sound clunky and amateurish. Add in some inexcusable long pauses during and between songs, a production thinner than Kate Moss and terrible, out-of-tune vocals and you’re left with a record that isn’t fit to serve as Wino’s drinks coaster.

Hopefully the band will note their failings on this record and return to some of the Sub Pop influences they displayed on earlier EP’s, as there’s really no place in such an overcrowded genre for something this weak.

 

4.0/10

 

JAMES CONWAY

Audio: Saviours Featuring Wino Stream B.Ö.C. Cover- Hot Rails

Saviors flexi stream

California’s raging retro metallers  Saviours are streaming a new song today. The band has covered Blue Oyster Cult classic ‘Hot Rails’ with the help of doom legend Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich (Saint Vitus, Shrinebuilder) for Decibel Magazine’s Flexi Disc Series. You can stream the track from Soundcloud at this link or below:

Saviours’s drummer Scott Batiste commented on the track:

When we did the Saint Vitus shows in 2009, we got to talking to Wino about our shared love for Blue Öyster Cult and one thing led to another… The recording was done almost five years ago! Shrinebuilder was coming through Oakland on tour so we set up the time at Sharkbite Studios with Billy [Anderson]. We did it in a day. He’s played it with us live a few times. The recording rules and his solo is totally insane.”

Steve Von Til – A Life Unto Itself

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Just like Wino, or fellow bandmate Scott Kelly, when taking time off from his day job, Neurosis vocalist/guitarist Steve Von Til likes to stray from metal and dabble in acoustic albums. A Life Unto Itself is Til’s fourth under his own name, following on from 2008’s A Grave is a Grim Horse [both Neurot Recordings]

Much like his previous solo outings, it’s an acoustic album of dark Americana; sometimes folky, sometimes straying into more country territory, but always fuelled by a slow burning melancholy. Accompanying Til’s gravelly baritone are slide and steel guitars, fiddles, piano, plus occasional synths, and the variety of styles and sounds on offer ensure that while the mood rarely lifts it remains a compelling listen throughout.

Whether it’s the haunting seven minutes of the title track, the eerie ‘Night of the Moon’ or the introspective ‘Birch Bark Box’, every track boats layers of subtlety, texture and emotion. Til’s poetic introspection moulds the best of latter day Johnny Cash and Nick Cave and feels very personal, and suit the leaden pace yet sombre atmosphere that Til’s music creates.

While musically Til’s solo material is worlds away from his work with Neurosis, it retains that same crushing feeling of oppression. A Life Unto Itself is a hard, tiring listen and not one for those wanting an acoustic experience to relax to [Wino’s outings with Conny Ochs are far more uplifting in comparison], but it’s a rewarding listen for those willing to revel in the misery.

 

7.5/10

Steve von Til on Facebook

 

DAN SWINHOE