Tuesday, 31 December 2013

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

This is part 3 of 3 of our look at the Most Anticipated upcoming albums here at Paranoid Hitsophrenic.  This short series has been fun to put together and it's beginning to feel a little bit like the beginning of a regular series.  For now, there's this:

Cover artwork by Tony Roberts.
RAINBOWS ARE FREE - We're only about two weeks away from the release of Oklahoma's finest releasing their long-awaited second album, 'Waves Ahead of the Ocean'.  To listen to a rough / unmastered version of the title song (that's track number three on your program) go to this soundcloud link.  From the looks of it, this eight song album promises to be an early contender for the year's end title, Rainbows Are Free continue to clobber listeners with strong, balls-out vocals and big riffs that move on swinging hooks at a groovy pace.  The official release date is for January 14 on Guestroom Records.  Oh, and when listening to the track provided at the link above, keep the player going after the song finishes to hear a rough/unmastered version of the second track "The Botanist" as well, your sweat glands will be glad you did.  Once you're finished wiping your own brains off the wall behind you, you can pre-order this sucker at this link.

Please note: this is not the cover art.
SERPENT VENOM - I've got this one pegged as my #1 Most Anticipated album of 2014.  Why, because the band's first album 'Carnal Altar' is one of my favorite doom albums of all time.  The forthcoming album 'Of Things Seen And Unseen' was recorded by Chris Fielding at Jon Davis (of Liverpool band Conan)'s brand new Skyhammer Studio and will be released by Church Within Records.  The closest we've come to a release date is early 2014 with my money on "By April" as an appropriate, approximate target.  The big change that has taken place between albums is swapping original guitarist / Hammond organist / main composer Pete Fox for Roland Scriver (formerly of End of Level Boss).  Based on this preview stream of the track "Sorrow's Bastard" (courtesy of Sleeping Shaman website) the change in sound is marginal at best, even though Pete was credited with writing all the music on the first album.

Please note: this is not the cover art
SET - New England doom quartet Set blew my mind with their four song E.P. back in 2012.  The song "Sacred Moon Cult" in particular captured my dark imagination (it was #3 on my Top 100 Songs of 2012 list and is my fourth most played song since June 30 2012 when I got this laptop), but all 4 songs were great.  In March the band will spread its debut full-length album called 'Valley of the Stone' across the world like a plague cloud.  It'll be around 42 minutes in length and based on the title track and "Wolves Behind the Sheep", it's going to be monstrous.  This album has been one of my most long awaited doom gems for a long time now and the first two tracks on stream do not disappoint.  The four guys in Set have a background in hardcore (who from Boston doesn't?) and it plays into their sound, snapping on a dime from instant to instant from slow simmering doom to paroxysms of boiling rage at the drop of a tuning.

SNAIL - Veteran Portland doom trio Snail are busy finishing up a new record called 'Feral' which they hope to have out "early next year".  This is great news for eardrums and gastropods everywhere.  The band's 2012 opus 'Terminus' was an addictive experience.  Tone, melody and fuzz spilled slickly from the album like mollusc slime.  This will be the band's third album since re-forming in 2008, only wasn't 'Terminus' meant to be their swan song?  Am I confused here because I could have sworn the band was kissing off at the end of 2012.  Did I only imagine that?  Maybe the band was hedging their bets that the world was coming to an end and as a band, wanted to go out on their own terms.  Either way, they have been hard at it for much of this year, writing and recording, parting ways with guitarist Eric Clausen and moving forward.  It would seem the life of a Snail never slows down.

THE SOCKS - This one is up right now on bandcamp, all ready and waiting, over on the Small Stone Records page like a giant tease because only one of the nine tracks is currently streaming, that being the garage boogie jam "Some Kind of Sorcery".  I thought The Socks were a surprise signing by Small Stone Records in the first place.  I'd heard the band's 'Bedrock' E.P. and I liked it, but there was nothing about the psychedelically tinged hard rock record that suggested Small Stone material to me.  This song changes all that, sounding like something of a French answer to the Scandinavian Retro Rock bands by way of Dozer.  Usually, the case with Small Stone records is that they will be made available for download well before the projected release date so I half expect this one to be downloading into this laptop sometime within the next couple weeks.  Otherwise CD's will be shipping out on March 18.

TRUCKFIGHTERS - Another imminent release, this time from Örebro fuzz legends Truckfighter.  'Universe' was crowdfunded into existence and will be released by the band's own label Fuzzorama Records.  The band released 'The Chairman' EP in advance of the full-length on October 4, the title track from which (and only original / non-live of the 4 songs on the E.P.) stands as track #2 on 'Universe'.  If the aforementioned song and its immediate follow-up "Prophet" (watch the video here) are anything to go on (and they ought to be as they comprise a hefty 2/7ths of the album), the band have taken things in a slightly different direction.  The focus now is on melody rather than tone.  Keep in mind I said the focus is on so there's still plenty of heft to Truckfighters's by-now famous fuzz tone, but let's just say the two songs I've heard from the album are a bit more colorful than on previous efforts.  The change reminds me of the one Witchcraft undertook on their most recent album 'Legend'.  'Universe' will be released February 4 and will kick off a sizable touring schedule which will see Truckfighters cross paths with the throngs at SXSW.  You can pre-order the album in nearly any format you'd like right here.

WO FAT - Keep in mind that I only just heard this news so I'm still getting my bearings here.  Details are non-existent at this point.  Small Stone Records is promising a new album from the band in early 2014.  I'd hate to accuse them of lying, and I'd hate even more for the band to prove them to be liars, but I chose to remain hopefully skeptical that this will be the case.  What I mean by that is I want to not believe that it will happen sooner rather than later because a new Wo Fat album is large news indeed, fat, fuzzy, thick, elephantine news indeed, and the waiting around for it to "drop" would kill me.  Therefore I chose to believe that it just ain't going to happen, no sir, it will not be.  But just to reiterate, Small Stone Records announced over a month ago that a new Wo Fat album will be released in "the first half of 2014".  But I'm telling you, don't believe the hype, because the waiting for it will kill you! ... But wait.  What's this?  Pictures of the band playing instruments and sitting at mixing boards in their own brand new studio?  Dated recently (November 29-30 / December 4)?  Could it be?  Oh my Lord, it is!  It's coming!  A new Wo Fat album is coming!  Aaaarrrrrghh, oh no, the waiting is going to kill me!!

HONORABLE MENTIONS - I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the fresh as steaming hot cakes news of a new Roadsaw album coming the world's way in 2014.  If you're an asshole like I was just before last night, and you'd never actually heard a full Roadsaw album before, well I think you should know that this is fuzzing fantastic news.

In other news Rhode Island mega-doomanoids Balam have been busy in studio, recording, but for what (an album, E.P., single, split, compilation, etc.?) is currently unknown so that notable band warrants an honorable mention as we're excited to hear the band sneezing on record, they're that good.

I missed this the first time around, but it appears Dwellers have a new album on the horizon for Small Stone Records.  The last album 'Good Morning Harakiri' went somewhat under the radar as it seemed to be overshadowed somewhat by the other albums put forth by the label in 2012, but make no mistake, it was terrific.

One other thing that NEEDS to be mentioned is that up-and-coming Milwaukee doom titans Moon Curse will have their debut E.P. released by Kozmik Artifactz with a "new" old song that was recorded with the others but was left unfinished until now.  I've been lucky enough to hear it, it's called "Seminary Woods" and it's at least the equal of anything else on the record that was originally released on bandcamp.  That new vinyl release is coming soon, look for it

Other bands talking new material in 2014: Destroyer of Light, From Beyond, Maligno.

There are others as well.  This could really go on forever.


  1. Dude your work in the past week or so is epic!
    You must be the hardest working person in the entire Doom family!
    Nice taste too!
    Keep up the good work and happy new year to you and the ones you love!
    I'll dedicate this song to you as a way to say thanks for let me discovering a few good bands: http://youtu.be/IZi4bm_LS6g

    1. Thanks Doc Doom, your encouragement means a lot to me!

      One of my favorite all-time songs from one of my favorite all-time reviewers!

  2. Why haven't I ever listened to Serpent Venom before?!?! Read this article, opened Spotify and voila, headbanging commences. Great article, I'm looking forward to lots more new music in 2014.

    1. Extremely glad I could spread the doom, John! I'll tell you, the CD itself looks great too, maybe the coolest CD booklet I've ever seen.


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