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SEVEN PLANETS: West Virginia Heavy Instrumentalists To Release Explorer Full-Length Via Small Stone This February; New Track Streaming + Preorders Available
West Virginia-based heavy instrumentalists SEVEN PLANETS will release their third full-length, fitting titled Explorer, in early 2020 through Detroit’s Small Stone Records.
Drawing on classic metal, heavy boogie, and blues rock, the group formed in 2007 and consists of guitarists Leonard Hanks and Jim Way, bassist Mike Williams, and drummer Ben Pitt, all of whom have played in bands together in different configurations for over twenty-five years. Its groove-anchored sound has drawn comparisons to Brant Bjork and Clutch-offshoot The Bakerton Group with The Obelisk noting, “the instrumental chemistry and stylistic foundation… fuse the varying sides of their sound into a cohesive funky, heavy psychedelic whole, entirely their own.”
Written and recorded over a period of personal difficulties and individual strife for the four band members, Explorer captures a sense of escapist freedom in its deep grooves, burly riffs, and expansive atmosphere, which further illustrates what Heavy Planet stated in its review of the band’s self-titled 2012 LP, “SEVEN PLANETS take you on an amazing journey into another cosmic dimension.”
Notes Hanks, “The writing and recording of Explorer was a long and interrupted process. We started writing the album in early 2014. But in April of that year I was diagnosed with cancer and had to have surgery so there was a hiatus while I recovered. Then Jim was unavailable the last few months of that year. 2015 started with the same intentions of getting the album done but more personal issues came up, so it wasn’t until 2016 that we were really able to get to work on it. Finally, in 2017 we were able to pull everything that we had been working on together and get a cohesive album mixed. Mike who had been dealing with some things had to leave the band after the album was done. Fortunately for us, our good friend Chris Berry stepped right in to pick up where he left off. One thing we wanted to do with this album was have a few more up-tempo, straight forward songs. ‘Vanguard,’ ‘206,’ and ‘The Buzzard’ came from that. The other songs on the album feel like an evolution of what we’ve been doing for years.”
Explorer features artwork by renowned German illustrator Alexander von Wieding (Monster Magnet, Brant Bjork, Karma to Burn, etc.), giving further representation to the idea of escape with a spacebound retro-style rocket headed to the unknown. Exploration in the truest sense.
Explorer will be released CD, digital, and limited-edition vinyl formats (available in two color variants: 200 green marble and 300 purple) and February 7th, 2020.
For preorders and to sample opening track “Vanguard,” visit the Small Stone Bandcamp page at THIS LOCATION. Fans of Clutch, Brant Bjork, and Monster Magnet pay heed.
Explorer Track Listing:
2. Plain Truth In A Homespun Dress
5. Seven Seas
6. Great Attractor
8. The Buzzard
PALE GREY LORE: Eschatology Full-Length From Psychedelic Doom Conjurors Out Now And Streaming Via Small Stone
Stream / Share PALE GREY LORE’s Eschatology At THIS LOCATION
Eschatology, the latest full-length from Columbus, Ohio-based psychedelic doom conjurors PALE GREY LORE is out now and streaming via Small Stone Recordings.
PALE GREY LORE blends elements of garage psych, space rock, post-punk, and stoner doom to create focused, hook-driven, heavy, rock ‘n’ roll. Eschatology was produced by the band’s own Xander Roseberry and Michael Miller, engineered and mixed by Andy Sartain, and mastered by Harold LaRue, with artwork and layout by Adam Eckley.
Stream Eschatology in its entirety at THIS LOCATION.
Eschatology is out now on CD, limited LP, and digital formats. For orders, visit the Small Stone Bandcamp page at THIS LOCATION.
“Eschatology tells the story of a depleted planet beset by vast inequality, ravaged by climate catastrophe, and poisoned by nuclear disaster,” relays the band of the record’s themes. “The masses are left to suffer and die while the wealthy techno-industrialists responsible for the destruction flee in luxury spacecraft that will become their tombs. The sheer magnitude of this planetary devastation summons cosmic beings whose presence warps reality itself, and the world is utterly transformed as the present collides with an ancient timeline. When the survivors finally emerge from their underground shelters, they discover that half the planet remains a post-apocalyptic wasteland while the other half has become lush and verdant. One hemisphere is strewn with melted reactors, crashed spacecraft, and bombed-out ruins; the other is an untamed wilderness, teeming with strange creatures, and dotted with ominous towering edifices that pulsate with eldritch power.”
Catch PALE GREY LORE live in the coming weeks including a performance at this year’s edition of Descendants Of Crom.
PALE GREY LORE:
9/21/2019 Descendants Of Crom III @ Cattivo – Pittsburgh, PA
9/24/2019 Skully’s Music-Diner – Columbus, OH
9/28/2019 Now That’s Class – Cleveland, OH
10/19/2019 The Union – Athens, OH
11/08/2019 Ace Of Cups – Columbus, OH
PALE GREY LORE began as a collaboration between brothers Michael (guitar, vocals) and Adam Miller (drums), with Donovan Johnson (bass) joining up in the summer of 2014. Xander Roseberry (guitar, backing vocals) was added to the lineup in the winter of 2016, just prior to their signing with Oak Island Records, an imprint of German label Kozmik Artifactz.
The band’s eponymous debut full-length was originally self-released on limited-run CD and digitally in June of 2016 and consequently landed at the #13 spot on TheObelisk.net‘s Top 20 Debut Albums of that year. Conceived as a series of surreal vignettes, it brought forth allegorical scenes from a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world in which the lines between science and the occult, technology and superstition, were hopelessly blurred. The album was released on vinyl in December 2017 via Oak Island Records.
Building on the momentum of the vinyl release, PALE GREY LORE began playing more live shows throughout the Midwest, landing spots on heavy music festivals such as the Chicago Doomed & Stoned Fest, Descendants Of Crom, and the Maryland Doom Fest. They’ve shared the stages with the likes of Pelican, Monolord, Lo-Pan, and Le Butcherettes, and are primed to release second album Eschatology. Fans of Failure, Lo-Pan, Black Sabbath, Irata, and Sundrifter, pay heed.
“…positively ballooning with fresh ideas, ever-weaving melodicism, and the right sort of cathartic narrative that’ll grip the listener by their chest and shake them free of the catatonia-inducing chaotic reality of today.” — Grizzly Butts
“Eschatology is a record full of purpose, and the realization of not just a plotline, but a creative vision fleshed out across the work…of multiple songwriters coming together toward a common end. It is simultaneously gorgeous and troubling, thoughtful in composition and impact-making in result.” – The Obelisk”Eschatology draws equally on network news tickers and D&D, and also finds singer/guitarist Michael Miller and Co. blasting Elon Musk and his ilk into space to die” — Columbus Alive
“While PALE GREY LORE‘s debut album set up a solid foundation in 2016, Eschatology is where things really get interesting. A noticeable boost in heaviness gives the group some extra weight but they never lose sight of their psychedelic roots. The conceptual angle, in turn, sets a strong precedent for what will hopefully be even more trippy freak-outs to follow. If albums like this and the newest efforts by Merlin, Book of Wyrms, and Ecstatic Vision are anything to go by, the space rock scene is in good hands.” – Indy Metal Vault
“The songs are epic bites of timeless rock, with fabulous little touches to make the listener engage (including some mystical bells to the title track)… The sounds engage slowly, like friends who become stronger over time. The guitar work is bottom heavy, but melodic. The top end frequency only exists in a parallel universe.” — Metal Nexus
“These guys play a heavy-handed version of drug laced Camaro rock. The vocals offer more hopefully floating sense of melody. The tight syncopated feel of what they do has as much as in common with Helmet as they do Kyuss.” — Abysmal Hymns
“Heavy but at the same time groovy…. With this excellent debut album, PALE GREY LORE have added their own chapter to the great rock and roll story.” — More Fuzz
“…a thundering good time from smoldering start to the winding end of the closing title track. Equal parts color and clout, the vibrancy of the guitar flourishes, with the vast musical textures being matched in the album’s cover (an element of artistic work I find to be often brushed over these days). A colorful but bleak snapshot of the aftermath of a civilization’s downfall, the mystery of the artwork captured my interest. The music all but held it hostage. What lies beyond the doorway of that cryptic tower?” — Everything Is Noise
For PALE GREY LORE coverage contact email@example.com.
IRATA: PopMatters Streams Tower Full-Length In Its Entirety; Record To See Release This Friday Via Small Stone + Tour Dates With Weedeater Confirmed
| Stream / Share IRATA’s Tower At THIS LOCATION |
PopMatters is currently streaming Tower, the anticipated new full-length from Greensboro, North Carolina-based heavy rock unit IRATA. The premiere comes on the eve of the record’s official release via Small Stone. Writes PopMatters of the release, “The album continues to display the quartet’s dizzying waft of scuzz while maintaining musical elements that also appeal to the great washed masses who grew up listening to math rock, pre-grunge indie rock and Black Sabbath,” further elaborating, “‘Weightless’ reminds us of early Soundgarden’s penchant for creating jazzlike ragas that were frequently hypnotic and sometimes hallucinatory. Coupled with a Jane’s Addiction-style vocal chant and for a moment you’re back in your brother’s college apartment, wondering how much Nag Champa could Nag if a Champa could Nag Champa. ‘Innocent Murmur’ is a voyage into progressive rock replete with some of the record’s most interesting lead guitar work, the predictably great ‘Leviathan’ (How could it not rip with that title?) and the final, epic ‘Constellations’ are three stops on an exhilarating journey that keeps the listener guessing and bobbing their heads in constant approval.”
Read more and hear Tower only at PopMatters at THIS LOCATION.
Tower will be released on CD, digital, and limited-edition vinyl formats May 24th. For preorders, go to THIS LOCATION.
IRATA will join Weedeater for a short run of shows later this month. The band are also confirmed to appear on the Golden Haze Fest in Golden, Colorado as well as Descendants Of Crom III Fest in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with addition live performances to be announced in the weeks to come. See all confirmed dates below.
IRATA w/ Weedeater:
5/29/2019 The Hideaway – Johnson City, TN
5/30/2019 Westside Bowl – Youngstown, OH
6/01/2019 Turnbuckles And Brews – Dayton, OH
6/02/2019 Rock and Roll Hotel – Washington, DC
6/03/2019 The Southern – Charlottesville, VA
8/30/2019 Golden Haze Fest @ Buffalo Rose – Golden, CO *
9/22/2019 Descendants Of Crom III Fest @ Cattivo – Pittsburgh, PA
* * IRATA only Since its 2007 genesis at the hands of founding members drummer Jason Ward and bassist Jon Case, IRATA has mutated restlessly, moving from its initial morphine-infused heavy fusion through math-y metal and finally to the soaring, technical heavy rock of its current approach. Over those dozen years, IRATA has made its presence known in metal and hard rock circles throughout the Southeast and beyond. Thanks to its growth from a trio with guitarist Cheryl Manner to a four-piece with the addition of guitarist Owen Burd, IRATA is evolving yet again. With Burd’s talents on guitar, vocals, and trumpet added to what had already felt like a complete equation, IRATA is pushing itself to new vocal and instrumental heights. Accordingly, its upcoming LP Tower applies impressive musicianship and complex textures to increasingly approachable tunes that teeter between hard rock and prog-metal. It’s like the sports car version of Don Caballero. Fans of Jane’s Addiction, Mastodon, Kylesa, Helms Alee, Sandrider, All Them Witches, and King Buffalo pay heed. “This Greensboro, North Carolina crew certainly knows how to ride a fuzztone riff to and beyond its obvious conclusions to build a mood. The band has experimented with a number of styles before settling on its present one, which is something like Mastodon-meets-early Fu Manchu. It’s heavy, driving and full of interesting math rock flourishes and sounds really good super loud.” — Vancouver Sun “From the opening riffs, so reminiscent of Torche and their saccharine approach to fuzz, to the big choruses, this track oozes cool and groove.” – Heavy Blog Is Heavy “There’s nothing quite as exciting as opening up an email from an unfamiliar band, falling in love with the artwork and finding that the music is not only every bit as good as you had hoped, but that it is, in fact, even better. Tower is, quite simply, an astounding album, drawing on a wide range of prog and metal influences to deliver an intelligent, exciting album that repays repeat listens thanks to the deftly textured arrangements. By turns crushingly heavy and ethereal, Tower is a remarkable album and comes very highly recommended indeed.” — Sonic Abuse “…a thrilling, complex and brilliant album from start to finish.” — Outlaws Of The Sun For
IRATA coverage contact firstname.lastname@example.org. http://www.facebook.com/iratabandofficial http://www.smallstone.com http://www.facebook.com/smallstonerecords http://www.smallstone.bandcamp.com
ABRAHMA To Release Third Album In Time For The Last Rays Of Light May 24th Via Small Stone Records; New Track Streaming + Preorders Available
French progressive heavy rock outfit ABRAHMA will release their third full-length, In Time For The Last Rays Of Light, this May via Small Stone.
Following three tumultuous years of personal challenges and lineup changes, In Time For The Last Rays Of Light, is a chronicle of the ravages of coping with loss and mental illness, brought to bear with heavy and progressive songwriting, melodic catharsis, and an impact that goes beyond the material itself. Produced and mixed at Orgone Studios by Jaime Gomez Arellano (Paradise Lost, Ghost) In Time For The Last Rays Of Light follows 2015’s Reflections In The Bowels Of A Bird, and whether it’s the stark chug and lumbering weight of “Eclipse Of The Sane Pt. 1: Isolation Ghosts” or the furious blasting in “Lucidly Adrift,” its songs produce a depth of atmosphere that speaks to the soul that birthed them.
A split with the prior lineup of the band brought the Rouen, France-based founding vocalist/guitarist Sébastien Bismuth into contact with local outfit Splendor Solis, whose members would soon be folded into the new incarnation of ABRAHMA. After many false starts, the band hit the studio in July 2018 and set to work on what is unmistakably their greatest accomplishment to-date: an album that copes with the depression that inspired it and soars hopefully above while reminding that the darkness beneath is ever-present.
“People do not take mental illness seriously,” says Bismuth. “People suffering from depression generally feel rejected, and it is not only a feeling. People who’ve never gone through it generally do not understand how hard it can be to live every day with this weight on your shoulders, all those questions going through your head.”
Spanning genres and decades of influence, from the Bowie-ism of “…Last Epistle” to the gothic unfolding of closer “There Bears The Fruit Of Deceit,” In Time For The Last Rays Of Light speaks with raw honesty and lush craft to its challenges and realizations.
In keeping with the album’s theme, a portion of the merch proceeds from ABRAHMA’s next tours will go to help those suffering from mental illness. “I decided to use this album as a medication against this depression and maybe help other people in this situation,” Bismuth recounts. “Each song explains a different side of it: loss of confidence, other’s critical looks, the impression of not having a place in this world.”
With front and back covers by famed French artist Gustave Doré (1832-1883) and a greater expanse of sound than ABRAHMA has ever had before, In Time For The Last Rays Of Light confronts its demons and offers a reminder that light exists in the first place. [words by JJ Koczan/The Obelisk)
ABRAHMA’s In Time For The Last Rays Of Light will be released May 24th on CD and digital formats worldwide via Small Stone Records and in France on Deadlight Entertainment. For preorders go to THIS LOCATION where opening track “Lost.Forever.” can be streamed. View the album teaser at THIS LOCATION.
In Time For The Last Rays Of Light Track Listing:
2. Lucidly Adrift
3. Eclipse Of The Sane Pt.1: Isolation Ghosts
4. Dusk Contemplation…
5. …Last Epistle
6. Wander In Sedation
7. Eclipse Of The Sane Pt. 2: Fiddler Of The Bottle
8. There Bears The Fruit Of Deceit
Sébastien Bismuth – vocals/guitar/effects
Florian Leguillon – guitar/backing vocals
Benoît Carel – guitar/synth/backing vocals
Romain Hauduc – bass/backing vocals
Baptiste Keriel – drums/backing vocals
View / Share LA CHINGA’s “Wings Of Fire” At THIS LOCATION
As Beyond The Sky – the forthcoming full-length from LA CHINGA – draws ever closer to release, The Sludgelord is pleased to unveil the band’s visual companion to “Wings Of Fire.”
Notes director R. D. Cane, “LA CHINGA….When they asked me to shoot a video, I had to really think about how to pay all due respect to their guitar heavy forefathers and still visually knock the socks off of a whole new generation of young rockers. We knew we wanted to make it colorful and exciting but simple enough to not get in the way. ‘Wings Of Fire’ just rocks. LA CHINGA knows their thing and they do it so well. This was a blast to shoot and hanging out was very cool, I really can’t wait to do more…”
View “Wings Of Fire,” courtesy of The Sludgelord, at THIS LOCATION.
If you missed it, check out the band’s previously-released “Killer Wizard” video HERE.
A hard rock power trio with psychedelic powers based in Vancouver, British Columbia, LA CHINGA draws from Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, MC5, and their own bad habits to conjure the forty-five minutes of sublimely confident freedom rock that comprises Beyond The Sky. Sometimes meaty and beaty (“Mama Boogie,” “Death Rider”), sometimes glam-handed (“Killer Wizard”), and occasionally even dirtbag pretty (“Keep On Rollin’), when it all melts into a puddle of phased goo in the final bars of “Warlords,” the listener has been rolled, boogied, and otherwise supernaturally conveyed well beyond the sky.
The follow-up to LA CHINGA’s 2016 critically-lauded Freewheelin’ full-length was captured at Vancouver’s fabled Warehouse studio with no-less-fabled producer Jamey Koch (DOA, Copyright, Tragically Hip).
Beyond The Sky will see release September 7th, CD, LP, and digital formats via Small Stone. For preorders go to THIS LOCATION where “Nothin’ That I Can’t Do” can be streamed.
LA CHINGA was forged in 2012, although in reality it was conceived about a year earlier when bassist/vocalist Carl Spackler was surfing in Southern California and his Chicano beach buddies kept hailing each other with the mysterious phrase: “La chingaaaaa!” It was then that Spackler’s dream of a hard rock power trio built on erogenous funkadelic rhythms and a devotion to life’s more sublime pleasures – chief among them: tequila – was now embodied inside a beautifully obscene two-word incantation.
Drummer/vocalist Jay Solyom and guitarist/vocalist Ben Yardley – also a noted professor of Theremin – were conscripted shortly after, both veterans of Vancouver’s notoriously dead-end music scene, both beautifully obscene in their own right. LA CHINGA’s self-titled debut record was rushed out of a makeshift studio in 2013 on nothing but fumes and the liberating force of not giving a shit, landing like a hairball crossed with a stink bomb inside a world of yoga pant commerce, condo developments, and Macbook “musicians.” This was a revolutionary act, or maybe a devolutionary one, at least.
Meanwhile, Spackler was busying pouring all off his demented ’70s obsessions into wild three-minute homemade music videos, finding the visual language of fuzz itself inside shitty horror films as he furnished the great infernal drive-in of his mind. Somehow, miraculously, this charming brew conspired to make LA CHINGA the hottest bunch of stoned ape groovers to hot wheel out of the Pacific Northwest since forever. Freewheelin’ followed in 2016 on Small Stone, and so did unhinged tours of Europe, more year-end accolades, and festival slots (420 Fest, Sasquatch). In late 2017, LA CHINGA entered Vancouver’s Warehouse studio with producer Jamey Koch. The result is Beyond The Sky, available this fall via Small Stone. This is how it feels to get chinga’d, amigos. Surf’s up.