Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2014 Year in (P)review Part Ω℧ - Most Anticipated

Welcome to part 2 in our 3 three part series that does it's best to preview the most exciting upcoming releases in the world of stoner and doom metal.  Go here to read part 1.

Photo by Jody N Nicole Dorignac.
DOWN - The plan was to release four 6-song E.P.'s over the course of about a year and a half, each one focusing on a different aspect of Down's sound.  The first one, 'The Purple E.P.' was released late 2012 and the next two were supposed to have been released at various points throughout 2013 with the fourth and final one released sometime in mid 2014.  Well that plan never materialized, but the band did recently finish up recording E.P. #2 with Honky's charismatic guitarist Bobby Landgraf filling in for the departed Kirk Windstein, who has left for the forseeable future to focus on his main band, Crowbar.  Down vocalist Phil Anselmo has stated in several interviews that the new Down E.P. will be very Sabbath-like, getting back to the band's 'NOLA' album roots.  Other noted influences include Witchfinder General and Trouble.  No word on release dates yet but there have been whispers of a first quarter of 2014 release.  I'd pay that no mind however as the band is notorious for pushing back release dates.

THE GRAVIATORS - Malmö, Sweden's stoner metal quartet The Graviators will return in 2014 with their third full-length album 'Motherload'.  The all-analog recorded album will be released by Napalm Records on March 28, mark it down, these are the catchiest M.F.'s of them all.  I still find songs from their last album 'Evil Deeds' floating around my head on a weekly basis.  The Vance Kelly artwork hasn't come back yet, but based on the cover he's done for the new Black Capricorn album (see it here) the LP cover of 'Motherload' will be tacked up to many a bedroom wall.  The band will also commence a two week European tour in April to support the album and in the meantime, be on the look-out for a forthcoming music video shot by Thomas Tjäder (catch it on The Hour of Power when it is released!).

GREENLEAF - As of December 7, the new Greenleaf album titled 'Trails & Passes' was being mixed, according to an update on the band's official facebook page.  Their last album 'Nest of Vipers' was a fuzz muffin, a deliciously warm muffin of melody and fuzz.  2014 looks to be a big year for the band's label Small Stone Records with no upcoming release more exciting than 'Trails & Passes'.  Three members of Greenleaf are also in Dozer, who have been spotted jamming, rehearsing and will be spotted gigging in 2014.  There have been no official announcements as to whether or not Dozer will have a new one coming down the pipeline in 2014, but if they do, many a muffin will be devoured satisfying fuzz bellies from Borlänge to Brooklyn and all places in between.

ICHABOD - Lowell, Massachusetts psychedelic sludge rockers Ichabod will return with a concept album in 2014, a love letter of sorts to their home territory titled 'Merrimack' after the river that cuts through the region.  The album was mostly composed by the time the band released their most recent opus, the amazing 'Dreamscapes From Dead Space' but was only recently finished and is currently in the mixing stage.  Artwork will be handled by Dave Huckins who seems well suited to capture the bands highly psychedelic flourishes.  You can preview a couple unmixed versions of 'Merrimack' tunes here and here.  The band hopes to have the album in hand for their appearance at The Eyes of the Stoned Goat IV Festival in May.  Sadly, this will be vocalist John Fadden's swan song with the band after leaving the group amicably, he will fulfill his remaining commitments with the band including their performance at EotSG IV.

INDIAN - No sketchy info about this release, it's coming soon and all the details about it are known.  'From All Purity', the Chicago quintet's fifth full-length album will be released by Relapse Records on January 21.  They've even released an advance single in fourth track (of 6) "Rhetoric of No" (watch the video here).  Typically I like a good clean, melodic vocal, but every now and then a band with a harsh vocalist will break through and land on my radar screen, Indian was one of the first such bands to do so because their songs are about so much more than just being noisy and abrasive.  They seem to put a little bit more of themselves into their blackened doom compositions.  No doubt this one will be making its way around the review websites and print magazines, so I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot about it in the near future.

MOS GENERATOR - "The new album is done!!! Just got done with the mastering and doing some final touches on the artwork layout. We are feeling good about this album and got an enthusiastic thumbs up from the record label after hearing the final version. Our 8th album 'ELECTRIC MOUNTAIN MAJESTY' should be out in March." (via facebook update, December 23, 2013)

Washington state hard rock veterans Mos Generator's new album will be released through Listenable Records and will feature 11 new tracks.  There is a plan for a tour through Europe in May.  Nothing too much to add here that hasn't already been covered over at The Obelisk website, just to say how geeked out I am about this.  You can listen to the title track here.

MOTHERSLUG - Australian heavy as a lead fart stoner doom quarter Motherslug will return with a pair of new tracks that will make up a two-sided single.  The birth pangs of these new tracks provide nearly as heavy a story as the band's music.  I asked vocalist Cam what he could tell me about the new release.  I wasn't prepared for the answer he gave:

This has to be the most painfully protracted procedure I have ever been through with a band. Compared to the EP which was recorded and mixed in four days this seemed to drag on forever. To give you a brief outline... 
In August we recorded Three Kings and Trippin' to be released through Psyche Ward Records. Due to 'contractual problems' the sessions were scrapped. 
We scheduled time with Marc Russo at Beveridge Road Studios in November to re-record the same tracks. For various issues this got pushed back to December. The week before recording founding member Ferg decided to leave the band. No animosity - a dude's gotta do what a dude's gotta do - but the timing couldn't have been worse. We found replacements to fill Ferg's spot for live gigs but given the short notice Matt chose to play all the guitar parts on the recording. 
The night before recording the studio suffered a power outage that blew a converter. After several hours delay we got the bass and drums down before heading back into town (BRS is in a beautiful rural area called Sylvan) to play a gig. The next day Matt tracked all the guitar parts for both songs in one session, which I'm sure fried his ears and his brain. I came back through the week and did the vocal tracking in two separate sessions, Three Kings' vocals suffered from me staying out late to see The Melvins the night before. Damn you Melvins! 
Mixdown took several sessions and we still are waiting to hear the latest mix of Three Kings, but I can tell you Trippin' is massive and epic and we couldn't be happier with the results. 
I feel both tracks have a natural progression in their sound from the EP tracks. They sound a little more polished - possibly due to the extra time spent in the studio - but also are really distinct in structure and don't feel like we are treading the same territory as the earlier tracks. Three Kings really punches along, it is more uptempo than the demo on Reverbnation which sets it apart from Trippin' which rumbles along at Motherslug pace, deviates into a crushing, black metal vibe before coming to rest in an ambient psyched out groove. 
We should be sending the tracks to master in the next week or so and releasing it sometime in February. Currently only slated for a digital release, but we are keen to get these tracks onto vinyl.
For a preview of what you might expect you can find that "Three Kings" Reverbnation demo right here.  It may only be two songs, but those song will at least carry the weight of a long-ish E.P.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: It seems arrogant to place Boston quartet Ice Dragon on this list considering there are no plans or even rumors that have been released regarding a new Ice Dragon release in 2014.  Who knows, the genius quartet could throw a curve ball and not record or release any new music until 2020 ... but you know it's coming.  You don't know what it will be, what form it will take or where it will come from (either Ice Dragon or any number of the band's associated acts / side projects), but you just know something is coming, and you just know it will be good.  Umeå, Sweden sextet Mexicoma will also be releasing an album through Bilocation Records in 2014, which I only just found out about.  You can listen to "West of Memphis", the first song released off the album right here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...