Sunday, 29 December 2013

2014 Year in (P)review Part ∅ - Most Anticipated

With our month by month 2013 year in review in the rearview mirror, it's time to start looking ahead from the year that was to the year that will be.  There are a number of great bands with projects looming on the horizon, so many in fact that this Most Anticipated list will be broken down into three parts, here's a first look (in alphabetical order) at what has me starry eyed and titilated with excitement ...

Incredible cover artwork by Vance Kelly.
BLACK CAPRICORN - Just today Black Capricorn announced they will have a new album out in 2014, their third, titled 'Cult of Black Friars'.  It will be released by Stone Stallion Rex, who are currently busy selecting a vinyl friendly 40 minutes worth of doom from the 9 songs and one hour's worth of material the Italian trio has submitted to the label.  No release dates have come to light, but if I was a betting man I would imagine a second quarter release would be prudent.  Black Capricorn's second album, 'Born Under the Capricorn' was released in March of last year but is picking up momentum as time goes on and more and more people are beginning to hear the record for the first time and catching on to how great it is [read my review here].  'Born Under the Capricorn' has made numerous end of year lists and deservedly so.

Cover artwork by Dan Bell (not final artwork).
BLIZARO - 'Cornucopia Della Morte' is not necessarily confirmed for a 2014 release date, but you've got to figure it's about due to come out.  Far as I know the tracking for this album was completed many moons ago and has been in the some state of post-production for some time now.  With the recent release of the band's two-disc demos collection titled 'Strange Doorways' I am pacified for now, but excitement is also building and it's officially listed on the Razorback Records homepage as an upcoming release so I should just stop being a total spazz about it and just wait for the awesomeness to come pouring down my earholes like some unnameable thing that slithers in darkness. (Note: I'm wearing a Blizaro shirt as I type this.)  For more about Blizaro go here or here.

BLOOD FARMERS - This long dormant band's one and only (so far) self-titled 1995 album is my white whale.  I can't find it anywhere.  I need to hear this thing so if you would like to or are able to sell me a copy, please get in touch with me.  Anyway, Blood Farmers were one of the first doom bands I discovered (via youtube) when I was new to the genre and I wrote the name down in my little notebook of bands to check out, it remains one of the few that don't have a check mark beside it.  Then, in June of this year, the band premiered a brand new video on The Obelisk website.  It was the title track off a forthcoming album called 'Headless Eyes'.  The album has yet to be released and with no official facebook page or anything like that it's hard to get info or updates on the album.  So no release date at this point, but let's just draw a red circle around the year 2014 on our calendars as a target date.

CARDINALS FOLLY - Much like Blizaro, this Finnish traditional doom trio released a demos / rarities compilation in preparation for their next album called 'Our Cult Continues'.  It's a technique that seems to work.  I hadn't got around to hearing Cardinals Folly for myself until I was given a review copy of the demos comp. 'Strange Conflicts of the Past' for The Sludgelord website.  It got me hooked.  The title track of the forthcoming disc was released on the band's bandcamp page in late October and as part of the latest Doommantia compilation (download it here).  Album artwork and release dates have not been confirmed at this point but what is confirmed by the title song is that the band continues to power walk through a doomed wasteland.  There is enough power and energy behind the band to stay warm in the frozen wastes of their own doomed compositions.

Excellent Conan band artwork done (as always) by Tony Roberts.
CONAN - This one actually does have a release date and in fact, I've already pre-ordered it from the Napalm Records webstore.  'Blood Eagle' will batter cowards on a shore of long bones come February 28.  The album will contain six tracks with at least one "Gravity Chasm" having already been featured on the Paranoid Hour of Power in live form.  This Liverpool trio is one of my favorite doom bands and there are none heavier.  The band will be conducting a reasonably thorough tour of the UK in mid to late March 2014 before embarking on a European tour for most of April 2014 hitting Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Finland and Sweden along the way.  Meanwhile to those who will have picked up the album by then, gravity chasms will be opening in the centers of skulls everywhere and imploding them in a spray of gore.

Photo by Randy Ada.
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY - This one is unconfirmed and there is no word on what if any type of releases the legendary North Carolina band has in store but they recently entered the studio and European tour dates await in the month of March.  Mike Dean the band's bass guitar and vocal dynamo is still touring with Vista Chino but hasn't officially joined the band full-time and there's been no word on whether C.O.C. have finished recording in the studio so if they haven't they will have to work around his busy schedule.  If that's the case we might not expect a new album or E.P. from that band until 2015 or late 2014.  Either way, I'll be looking forward to a new album from the original trio line-up of Corrosion of Conformity, their self-titled full-length was my album of the year in 2012 and The Megalodon E.P from later in the year showed no signs of the band fading.

CROWBAR - "This music is slow and fat."  "This is the kind of music you have on a workout tape if you're skinny, and you want to get fat."  No dates or titles confirmed here or anything but sludge metal innovators Crowbar entered the studio just two weeks ago to begin recording their tenth studio album to commemorate the band's 25th year of existence (/ punishment).  Just to emphasize how serious band leader Kirk Windstein is about the project, he recently left Down to devote 100 per cent focus on it.  If and when the album is released this year, it will be their first since 2011's 'Sever the Wicked Hand'.

DOCTOR SMOKE - Doctor Smoke have got to be one of the top two or three acts from the rock n roll mecca of Mingo Junction, Ohio.  From the looks and sounds of it Doctor Smoke is an ambitious band and I mean that in the best possible way.  By the time I'd caught wind of their free bandcamp demo, their crowdfunding campaign was already underway.  Based on the strength of the four songs from the demo the band more than met their target campaign goal and didn't stop to count the money, they went right into the studio and recorded their upcoming album which was finished tracking after three or four days and is now being mixed.  This quartet wastes no time, they are fast workers and smooth operators.  I recently described the band's sound as "compar[ing] favorably to Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats but substitutes the latter's Beatles influence for that of Pentagram".  I was fairly proud of that description because it felt like all net from three point range to me.  I also posted the Doctor Smoke live set from Stoner Hands of Doom XIII recently and you can watch the 30 minute video for a preview of what to expect from the album (hint: it's good).

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Maidstone, UK prog/doom duo Crowned In Earth have entered the studio but nothing is confirmed, if and when new recordings materialize there will be rejoicing in the Paranoid Compound.  Demon Eye's debut full-length 'Leave the Light' comes out January 24 on Souseller Records.  This one would be on my most anticipated list but I've already heard it and can confirm the anticipation is certainly warranted!


  1. Spirit Caravan also should have some new stuff out!!!!!!! But anyway, as for Blood Farmers, you can buy it straight from the band -

    That album has been on my watch list for a while now, just that postage to the UK is basically the price of the CD again.. which is awfully dear. Still, I'm hoping they'll sell the new one direct and I'll bite the bullet and get both then.

    Kudos on these end of year lists man, utterly exceptional in their depth!!


    1. Hi Lucas,

      Here is a summary of your recent order. You can also view your updated order details in My eBay.

      Thank you for shopping on eBay!

      Seller: the-druids ( 88 )
      Item title Price
      Shipping price
      Qty Item total
      BLOOD FARMERS Blood Farmers S/T CD Japan Import SEALED ( item: XXXXXXXXXXX transaction: XXXXXXXXXXX )

      Paid on Dec-30-13 $XX.99 $X.25 1 $XX.99
      USPS First Class Mail Intl / First Class Package Intl Service
      Estimated delivery: You can contact seller for more information.
      Subtotal $XX.99
      Shipping and handling $X.25
      Total $XX.24

      Thank you so much man!!!

      Spirit Caravan will appear in Part 3!

    2. Nice!! I'm already jealous!!! and I'm looking forward to it, peace!


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