All that I can say is, I’m so glad this band exists. “From Fear,” is truly awesome.
I first saw Von Doom open for Dark Tranquility nearly a year ago. They stood out like a shiny beacon then, and they will stand out on Tuesday, August 8th, when they release their single, “From Fear.”
I’ve listened to it now about six times in a row. It’s one of those songs that you wish didn’t end, but I guess it would be weird to have 10 tracks on an album that are exactly the same. But, if any band could do it, Von Doom could with this song.
“From Fear,” is the band’s first release in six years. It is aggressive from the start, complete with background vocals upon the first note. I was a tiny bit worried when I first heard it, wondering if the vocals were recorded low…but rest assured, they aren’t; that fact becomes very clear within seconds of listening.
Let me just get this out of the way: the guitars are fantastic, the lyrics are clever, the bass is strong and provides superior support to the drums (which are ridiculously good,) and the vocals match the pace and feel of the song really well.
I find Von Doom to be a bit difficult to categorize in my mind. Yeah, I don’t like the plethora of genres either, but I somehow have to make the identification in my mind when I listen. They are good ole’ USA thrash metal, but they are also very akin to European death metal, with a splash of ambient black metal.
The song starts out with a nice groove and immediate low-level vocals, and it works really well. It moves right into a full swing of bouncy groove riffs, followed by a fast thrash metal section. A reprieve with a melodic ambient slice, and then back into thrash. The interesting breakdown with an off-pattern component ends the cycle, and it goes back to relive the awesomeness all over again. The song ends with frantically fast guitaring and believably angry vocals that soften to a pretty note at the end. And when it is over, you have to listen to it again…because it is just that good.
Smart lyrics, melodic, heavy, groove-driven, aggressive, well written, well recorded, well played, and no clean vocals. The correct length in theory, but too short for maximum pleasure. Thankfully we all have a repeat or “back track” button. That sums up “From Fear.”
I can’t wait to hear what Von Doom does next. I wrote the band after I heard it and just said, “Seriously?” The song is that good!
If this song is any indication of what the band has in mind for the future…the sky is the limit for Von Doom.
I highly suggest you put Von Doom on your radar if it isn’t already. (And, if you are lucky enough to be in the Pacific Northwest, catch them on the Devil Driver bill.)
Follow them and buy “From Fear” here: Facebook: facebook.com/vondoomband or Bandcamp:vondoom.bandcamp.com
Photo credit unknown (taken from Google image search - The Indie Spiritualist)
By: Susan Dusse - 07/20/17
It is ominous to know that Chester Bennington died on Chris Cornell’s birthday; that he sang Halleluiah, and some reports suggest gave a eulogy at Cornell’s memorial service. I’ll stop here and show the following video of Bennington and Cornell performing “Crawling” together. Their friendship is apparent: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_v1SLIt01Q
All reports indicate that Bennington, singer for Linkin Park, father of six children, husband, son, bandmate, hung himself early today, July 20, 2017. Allegedly he was found by an employee, and was in the home alone.
I’m absolutely dumbfounded by what must go through someone’s soul, mind, body to take their own life. How can you have such a strong feeling of despair, pain, anger, that death is the best solution? I will never know, because I've never been there. How must it feel to not wake up (or wake up in an alternate place depending on your religious views) the next day after you’ve had time to rethink your decision?
Bennington, #74 on the Richest Front Men in Music list was worth an estimated $27,000,000 from his work with Linkin Park, Dead by Sunrise, and brief stint in Stone Temple Pilots, among other ventures. By “our” standards, he had the perfect life… a beautiful house, wife, kids, fame, wealth, was a music producer, actor. He was young, and ranked high on lists for “best front man.” At this point, I am unaware of a suicide note indicating the motivation, however, I’m sure we will know soon, or at least be poked by conspiracy theories. But as is shown over and over again, our standards for “the good life” and what makes us happy all differ.
As I looked over his career, I found the darker side to his life. He was the product of divorce at an early age, was sexually abused by a male friend of the family, chose not to prosecute or file legal action, battled drugs and alcohol, had a divorce himself, was riddled with injuries and surgeries, had a severe cyberstalker, and lost a close friend to suicide recently; who knows what else wasn’t revealed that remained only known to him.
Often writing and singing songs that have been/will be/are an integral part of many people’s lives, I found this quote interesting: "It's easy to fall into that thing – 'poor, poor me', that's where songs like 'Crawling' come from: I can't take myself. But that song is about taking responsibility for your actions. I don't say 'you' at any point. It's about how I'm the reason that I feel this way. There's something inside me that pulls me down." – Rolling Stone Magazine, 2002
Suicide is like politics, abortion, and religion in some ways. Like, we shouldn’t talk about it at a dinner party or with relatives. Opinions are strong and emotions are high. We all have very rigid feelings about it based on personal experience with someone who has, who has tried, who has threatened, or by our own naivety. I say naivety because if we are still here, then we actually do not know what someone actually goes through to end their life.
What I’m choosing to do is to celebrate what he put into the universe for us to have. His lyrics and voice are something we are all familiar with, even if we aren’t the biggest Linkin Park “fans.” His voice was amazing and his talent was undeniable.
The internet is full of photos that are allegedly his last: Last Instagram, last Facebook, last concert, etc. I’m going to pass, and not participate in the glamorization or defamation of his career and subsequent suicide.
I offer these three links out of my heart and two of them out of personal responsibility:
Cody Perez, singer of Portland's own Amerakin Overdose, calls out Otep on her recent behavior.
Known for having no filter, Cody apparently has had enough of Otep Shamaya, and lashes out via social media. Otep retaliates much to the dismay of the rest of Amerakin Overdose and an all out twitter war ensues.
See the interaction below.
These are straight from Facebook and Twitter
Cody: Fuck this piece of shit! The band is terrible and she's full of shit! I will never attend a show Otep plays. The only times I have seen her live is because of the other bands playing with her. A recent live stream she posted she said "Local bands DONT sell tickets!" She's full of shit. I have plenty of friends that have opened for Otep and sold tickets. She claims the local promoter is the one who decides if locals open. In my experience, the local promoter allows local bands to open IF the touring manager asks for locals. There is plenty of times the local promoter will say "The touring manager doesn't want locals." If the touring manager is asking for local support it's because they know Otep can't fill the place themselves and they NEED the help of the local bands for a crowd. Otep is a fucking joke! For someone that tries to put herself in the positive light she brings a lot of negativity. Here's to you Otep
Here is what former Amerakin Overdose bassist Brandon Sills had to say:
Otep. I do not understand exactly why you are continuously responding to tweets or messages the way that you're doing it. I don't know if it's you giving people the publicity or your means to fight back. But when you say my former band's vocalist is a homophobe, I will take issue officially.
During my time as a bassist for Amerakin Overdose, I was met with a level of respect and kindness that should be exerted when you barely know people. As time progressed, we had bonded on a level that was almost like the special missing ingredient to a mix. I was given an opportunity with them and I am forever grateful for it, regardless if I personally continue to pursue music as a career or not, on my own, or if I rejoin them.
Who gives a fuck if you're counting your Franklins, Grants and Jacksons on the way to the bank? Gloating about it publicly not only to the fans, but also to the haters, makes it seem perhaps that you have succumbed to greed? Personally, I'd be happy to have enough cash to just make the monthly ends meet, and enough fun money on the side perhaps to pay for my own touring.
Not my right to judge others per se, when it comes to business and money though...
But when you call my family homophobes, I take issue. I might not be the poster child for a Folsom Street spit roast, but I'll be damned if one of the nicest motherfuckers in music I've ever met, let alone worked with, is called a homophobe by one of my own.
Whatever you are doing right now, is to yourself. Even if it's bad press. They say bad press is just as good as good press. Well, the moment I get dragged into this, I officially have a problem. From what I have seen via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Theprp.com, and the likes... I have no real words for it. Just a disgusting taste in my mouth, that someone who openly identifies as a lesbian, a vegan, an activist... can not only call my family homophobes, but also possibly suggest to another bandmate that he has no black friends (perhaps a stab at the phrase "white privilege") on your Twitter account.
We get it that you've been in the business for 15 years. We get that you have 7 albums. We get that you have "singles" that have charted on Billboard and all that.
The question is, is all of this responding to the hate necessary? The whole story about The Convalescence blowing up into this, because of some he said she said regarding events related to your tour?
I would have handled things way better to be honest. But I'm not a lesbian, a vegan, or an activist, or straight edge, or any other label you identify with.
I'm a gay autistic spiritual metalhead who has treated everybody I've come across with the respect they deserve until they prove otherwise. I'd take a bullet for every life I've changed for the better, and I'd take a bullet for my AOD family. They'd do the same for me. So if you're going to attack them, you're attacking me in kind.
With all that said, get off your high horse and start treating people with respect and kindness.
Whose side are you on?
It’s a very energetic and colorful interpretation of a very energetic and colorful song. Chronological Injustice’s new official video for “Pendulum,” is straight-forward and vibrant. Actually, that is a really great depiction of Chronological Injustice as a whole.
Chronological Injustice is a young band out of Portland, Oregon. Not young as in, “haven’t been around for very long,” (because they have been around for quite a while.) I mean young, as in their youngest member, Gunner DuGrey, (also in Vicious Rumors) is 18.
The video has camera panning, side-to-side, and forward and backward movement that is quickly becoming a signature move for HotKarlProductions. The camera angles greatly enhance what could have been just a “live” video. While just a live video would have been fine for Chronological Injustice, because their fervor and energy are both audible and visual in any scenario, the implementation of the shots, juxtaposed with the vivid background in the magical graffiti courtyard selected for the shoot are effective. The colorful location, the extreme energy of the band, and their downplayed wardrobe make this video incredibly interesting.
See video below
There are great shots of nature, highlighting a particular member, peppered throughout the video: the city, a lake, and a field with an old barn. While the shots likely weren’t critical, they add to the appeal of the overall feel. Obvious attention was paid to focus on each member at the point(s) in the song where their performance stood out (guitar solos, brutal vocals, cool drum parts), and there are many spots. It is done very smartly so that it doesn’t look planned, staged, or timed.
It feels like a well thought out organic video of five guys, with incredibly good hair and tons of energy, playing in a heavily (and beautifully) vandalized location…like you’d imagine they do every day.
I’ve seen Chronological Injustice live on many occasions over the past few years, and this video is a great representation of the band and its members.
Chronological Injustice are briskly becoming refined and polished in their presentation of themselves.
Guns N’ Roses has had an extraordinary comeback over the course of the last 18 months or so. Throughout much of 2016 and 2017, the group has been on tour, playing shows all over the United States and Europe. Dubbed the “Not In This Lifetime Tour,” it’s been the first stretch in years that the group was back together with any kind of regularity, and the shows have been going very well. While classic rock may be past its golden age, there are a lot of groups still going strong today. That means there are tons of fans who will still get excited for something like a GNR concert coming to town. At times, this has all felt like we got stuck in a time machine and transported back to the late-'80s.
This all started with some very deliberate efforts on the band’s part though. It’s not as if they just got together for a reunion concert and kept things rolling for a year. Guns N’ Roses seems to have been pretty clever about reaching out to audiences beyond their own loyal fans, gradually building anticipation for the reunion and tour that were to come.
First up was a partnership with an online gaming company aimed at casino players. The Guns N’ Roses slot reel is featured among the most popular gaming offerings from NetEnt, a developer that has made a habit out of working with classic rock artists. The game itself is more or less a traditional slot reel. But its background, symbols, and special effects are all about the band, which makes for an interesting blend of activity. On the one hand, the game can bring GNR fans to this particular genre of online gaming. On the other, it can also expose young casino gaming enthusiasts to the music and iconography of one of the great classic rock groups.
In another bid to reach out to audiences that might be broader than their own, Guns N’ Roses debuted a mysterious trailer during previews for Star Wars: The Force Awakens back in the winter of 2015. The trailer didn’t make it clear what was coming, but it did seem to reveal that the band was up to something and generated quite a bit of attention. That’s not to say that every Star Wars fan instantly got excited about a GNR reunion, but gaining exposure through one of the most popular films of the century certainly didn’t hurt the group.
As it turned out, the trailer was a hint regarding the band’s public reunion at Coachella in 2016— which in turn launched the Not In This Lifetime Tour that’s still going on this year. Now it feels like the group is back in full swing, having never missed a beat. The only thing missing has been new material, and that might be about to change.
According to some new reports, guitarist Richard Fortus has stated that the band is assembling ideas for a new album. Though he stressed that Guns N’ Roses has not actually put in any studio time, he said things are going too well lately not to result in new music. Fortus anticipates putting together brand new material with Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan all on board. He's also gone so far as to say that some of the material has already been recorded (just not in an official studio setting).
It sounds like we know what’s next in GNR’s extensive and successful revival. There's no underestimating the power of a good tour and the "Not in this Lifetime Tour" has consistently been one of the top grossing tours of the year. If they can add new material to add to the shows, it's likely that they'll do even better.
Quickly becoming one of the best video concept and production companies around, HotKarlProductions knocked this video out of the park. While the talent in Separation of Sanity (SOS) was no doubt easy to work with, the concept of the video for the song, “Vengeance,” aligns with the song title perfectly. To use the word intense in describing this video would be an understatement. I was lucky enough to spend a day with Separation of Sanity and HotKarlProductions on day one of this video shoot. It was a bloody cold day, in a heatless giant warehouse, but it warmed up quickly as SOS’s “Vengeance,” played in the background over the PA system. Speakers blew, sweat rolled, and ears rung for days.
The concept of the video is this: It was just an accidental beer spilled on a random big dude sitting next to Jason X. No need for a fist fight, just an apology and a towel…maybe a new beer. While the gentlemen in SOS were apologetic, the big guy (who happens to be a MMA fighter in real life) was not having it. Maybe he had a bad day; maybe he’s just an aggressive asshole. Regardless, he was pissed off and wanted to fight. He threw the first punch, but one swift blow to the head by Ivar, and a nice evening of drinking beer turned into vigilante justice…. mosh pit style. Who is the victim in this scenario? You just don’t know for sure, but the one thing you do know is that Jason X and the boys in Separation of Sanity won’t stand for bullshit; they will dish out a punishment worse than anything you thought of.
See video below.
The energy and intensity of the mosh pit, moving in unison to the aggressive “Vengeance,” paired with the dramatic, “where the fuck am I” moment by the big dude, now chained in a chair, lends well to the title of the song. The added bad-assery of Jason X slowly approaching the chair, in a taunting fashion, is exciting to watch.
Perhaps besides the song itself, what will be most remembered about this video is the rabid moshers who take on Jason X’s cause…joining in his plight. It is clear you don’t mess with Jason X or any of his band mates…because you WILL be out numbered.
It’s a great song and a great video. Another commendable piece from these Portland, Oregon rock stars.
GOATWHORE Unveils "Chaos Arcane" Lyric Video; Vengeful Ascension Release Day Draws Near + Band To Kick Off Headlining Tour June 9th
Vengeful Ascension is the imminent new full-length from New Orleans' metal legion GOATWHORE. Set to drop on June 23rd via Metal Blade Records worldwide, the band's seventh full-length and second recorded reel-to-reel was captured at Earth Analog in Tolono, Illinois with longtime soundman and comrade Jarrett Pritchard (1349, Gruesome).
In advance of its release, today the band shares the official lyric video for "Chaos Arcane." Based on H.P. Lovecraft's character Nyarlathotep who attempts to recount the inexplicable sense of fear in expectancy of an unknown evil, the track conveys that sensation of impending doom through sound in a way only GOATWHORE can.
Check out "Chaos Arcane" at THIS LOCATION.
Vengeful Ascension will be available on CD, vinyl (in multiple limited color variations), and digital formats. Various preorder options are currently available at metalblade.com/goatwhore where you can also sample the record's title track.
Mixed by Chris Common (Tribulation, Pelican) and mastered by Maor Applebaum (Faith No More, Halford, Today Is The Day), the ten-track Vengeful Ascension is a sonic manifestation of war, chaos, desolation, and emotional conflict, seamlessly bridging twenty years of the band's signature brand of audio venom. While hardly a concept record in the traditional sense, Vengeful Ascension loosely revolves itself around Luciferian notions in title and spirit where the symbol of Lucifer serves not as a fiendish, all-destroying demon but rather an emancipator or guiding light. It's a theme of struggle and transcendence derived from John Milton's Paradise Lost epic and one that has appeared, whether directly or indirectly, within GOATWHORE works of the past.
GOATWHORE recently wrapping up a successful tour with labelmates Amon Amarth. The band will play the Fort Worth Metal Fest at the The Rail Club in Fort Worth, Texas this weekend before taking to the streets again for a near-three-week North American headlining journey from June 9th through July 1st. Support will be provided by Vancouver metallers, Anciients. See all confirmed dates below.
5/27-28/2017 Fort Worth Metal Fest @ The Rail Club - Fort Worth, TX
6/09/2017 The Rock Box - San Antonio, TX
6/10/2017 Backstage Lubbock Depot - Lubbock, TX
6/11/2017 Launchpad - Albuquerque, NM
6/12/2017 The Green Rom - Flagstaff, AZ
6/14/2017 Stork Club - Oakland, CA
6/15/2017 Old Nick's Pub - Eugene, OR
6/16/2017 Northwest Terror Fest @ Neumos - Seattle, WA
6/20/2017 Generator Cabaret - Prince George, BC
6/21/2017 Distortion - Calgary, AB
6/22/2017 Brixx Bar & Grill - Edmonton, AB
6/23/2017 Riddell Center - Regina, SK
6/24/2017 Windsor Hotel - Winnipeg, MB
6/25/2017 Triple Rock Social Club - Minneapolis, MN
6/26/2017 The Metal Grill - Cudahy, WI
6/27/2017 Frankies - Bryan, OH
6/29/2017 George's Majestic Lounge - Springdale, AR
6/30/2017 Vino's Brewpub - Little Rock, AR
7/01/2017 Maggie Meyers Irish Pub - Huntsville, AL
Once upon a time, CKY burned it all down, with a raucous, anarchic, hard rock sound soaked in the skate-punk culture that birthed them and a hard-partying lifestyle onstage and off that decimated relationships and reputations in its wake. Now, CKY rises from the ashes of the aftermath with The Phoenix, a bold mission statement that hoists the flag high for big, raw, authentic, earth shaking rock n’ roll, liberated from useless pretense.
CKY’s sonic rebirth sounds as incendiary, expansive, and groovy as the Joshua Tree desert where it was made, and as decadent and funky as the strip-club adjacent rehearsal room where the songs were jammed out into submission. Each song is a forceful meditation on what makes CKY so killer.
Chad I Ginsburg, the band’s guitarist and singer, steps into the frontman role with charisma, charm, and bravado, confidently delivering a diverse performance as he claims a position that was clearly rightfully his to own.
He’s joined in enduring partnership and musical and personal chemistry by fellow CKY cofounder, Jess Margera, the drummer whose extracurricular work in projects like The Company Band (with guys from Clutch and Fireball Ministry) expanded CKY’s horizons as much as Ginsburg’s solo work has as well. The duo returned to their primary project refreshed and reenergized, with bassist Matt Deis (ex-All That Remains), who first joined CKY in 2005.
Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, and Deftones have all personally invited CKY on tour, cementing a legacy as a hard-charging live act. CKY built a worldwide fanbase of dedicated acolytes, friends, and supporters, lovingly dubbed the CKY Alliance, with a broader group of musicians, athletes, and other creative types in the CKY family, both literally and figuratively.
Carver City (2009) debuted at #4 on the Hard Music charts. It was the second CKY album to debut in the Top 50 on the Billboard 200: An Answer Can Be Found (2005) hit #35 upon its release. But if anything, The Phoenix is a spiritual successor to CKY’s breakthrough, Infiltrate•Destroy•Rebuild (2002), with a hint of the appropriately titled debut, Volume 1 (1999).
“We’re grown adults now with an eagle-eye perspective on who we are, what we do, and how to do it right,” Ginsburg declares, with matter-of-fact certainty. “None of us are out there in the clouds. We’re pretty well-grounded people that have an honest perspective on where we’re at.”
And where they are at is with a career-defining album that reshapes the brightest spots of CKY’s past while charging forward into a bright, self-assured future. “We made sure that we went into the studio with our guns blazing,” Margera says. “This isn’t a bunch of parts thrown together. We focused on the songs. We didn’t ‘have to’ make this album, we wanted to.”
In keeping with CKY tradition, The Phoenix was recorded at the famed Rancho De La Luna studio in California, which has played host to Daniel Lanois, Queens Of The Stone Age, Victoria Williams, Fu Manchu, and Mark Lanegan, among others. The studio was founded by David Catching, touring guitarist for Eagles Of Death Metal (among many credits), and late “desert sound” visionary Fred Drake.
“It’s one thing reading about the vibe at Rancho,” Margera says of the locale where the notoriously cool 1997 collaborative musical collective series known as The Desert Sessions took place. “And then it’s another thing to actually go out there and make an album. You’re like, ‘Ok, I get it.’”
“It’s the center of something out there,” Ginsburg agrees. “There’s a magnetic pull or something that lands directly in Dave’s backyard. I was just relaxed, waking up in the morning and getting right into the music.”
The goal was to make an authentic, organic, and “real” rock n’ roll record, uncompromising in its dedication to capturing what CKY actually sounds like playing in a room together, experienced at that gut-wrenching level of artistic intensity and swinging groove. As Margera explains: “Listen to a Zeppelin or Pink Floyd song and put that up against the copy/paste albums that are just snapped into a ‘grid,’ or whatever. There’s no comparison.”
The Phoenix touches on anger, revenge, good versus evil, desperation, recovery, growth, knowledge, survival, enemies, friends, and more. There’s heavy, dark, signature CKY grooves, “fun shit,” “fancy shit,” driving and almost danceable stuff, big melodies, total ear candy, immense diversity… There are even parts that sound like maybe Quincy Jones was given the keys to Rancho De La Luna and just ran amok with the dudes in CKY.
The totality of the CKY experience is perhaps best summarized by a quote from enigmatic comic book legend, author, and self-proclaimed magician, Alan Moore. “My experience of life is that it is not divided up into genres; it’s a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel. You know, with a bit of pornography if you’re lucky.”
Margera observes that it was “a perfect storm of events” that led to CKY becoming a pretty popular name. “When it’s happening, you’re not paying attention. But once you get a couple of years under your belt, you realize, ‘Holy shit, man. That was lucky as hell that happened to us!’, ya’ know?”
“We’re feeling rather lucky,” Ginsburg agrees. “We’re not taking things for granted. We’re saturated in gratitude. It’s an incredibly humbled CKY, with a fire to last another twenty years. The point is to go play rock n’ roll and appreciate everybody else who does it, too. It’s a lucky job to have.”
Chad I Ginsburg – Vocals/Guitar/Synths
Jess Margera – Drums
Matt Deis – Bass/Synths/Backing Vocals
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"Slow... was born of isolation and betrayal, but it's music that was meant for concert halls COBALT deserve to fill; music that rewards both introspection and reveling in like-minded rapture." -- Spin
Colorado-based progressive apocalyptic wasteland metal duo, COBALT, will take to the streets this June on a near-month-long headlining tour. Set to begin June 19th in Phoenix, Arizona, the journey will pillage its way through twenty-two venues coming to a close on July 12th in Dallas, Texas. Support on the first leg comes from Alabama-based doom and gloom bringers Null, while the second leg features support from Iowa sludge unit Aseethe. See confirmed dates below.
Comments COBALT multi-instrumentalist/mastermind Erik Wunder, "We are excited to hit the road once again in the US this summer, along with other bands we have handpicked to join the wild ride across North America! It has been an amazing few years getting the live COBALT band together and running, and we have put together a show that is sure to exceed expectations for what a live COBALT incarnation is capable of. More info to be announced soon, see you all out there!"
6/19/2017 Club Red - Phoenix, AZ *
6/20/2017 Complex - Los Angeles, CA *
6/21/2017 The Ritz - Santa Cruz, CA *
6/22/2017 Golden Bull - Oakland, CA *
6/23/2017 Starlite Lounge - Sacramento, CA *
6/24/2017 Kilby Court - Salt Lake City, UT *
6/25/2017 Hi Dive - Denver, CO *
6/27/2017 Riot Room - Kansas City, MO **
6/28/2017 7th Street - Minneapolis, MN **
6/29/2017 Subterranean - Chicago, IL (10:30 curfew)**
6/30/2017 Black Forge - Pittsburgh, PA **
7/01/2017 Coalition - Toronto, ON **
7/02/2017 Bar Le Ritz - Montreal, QC **
7/03/2017 Great Scott - Boston, MA **
7/05/2017 St. Vitus - Brooklyn, NY **
7/06/2017 Kung Fu Necktie - Philadelphia, PA **
7/07/2017 DC9 - Washington, DC (9pm curfew)**
7/08/2017 Drunken Unicorn - Atlanta, GA **
7/09/2017 Growlers - Memphis, TN **
7/10/2017 Gasa Gasa - New Orleans, LA **
7/11/2017 Lost Well - Austin, TX **
7/12/2017 Three Links - Dallas, TX **
COBALT features Wunder and vocalist Charlie Fell (ex-Lord Mantis). The pair will be touring in support of their Slow Forever full-length, released last year via Profound Lore Records. Pitchfork named the record the band's, "best-ever," and, "as accessible as it is aggressive, with magnetic hooks, shout-along mantras, and sparkling riffs." Spin noted, "Slow... was born of isolation and betrayal, but it's music that was meant for concert halls COBALT deserve to fill; music that rewards both introspection and reveling in like-minded rapture." Stereogum gushed, "Slow Forever works because it's way vaster and meaner and more monolithic than almost any album I've heard in recent years. It's not an album that does things. It simply is. If you listen to it in the right frame of mind, it creates this whole visceral hell-world inside your head, and you can just go fold in on yourself and live there." Brooklyn Vegan hailed an album of, "brutal, thrilling contradictions; raw but refined, furious but contemplative, catchy but punishing, literary but lizard-brained. Metal or not, it's one of the best albums of the year," giving it the #2 spot on their Top Albums Of 2016. Added Metal Injection, "Slow Forever is a commanding and magisterial composition. It stands as a frame of reference for great metal much like its predecessor and transcends the hitches and missteps that COBALT has dealt with in the space between albums... a massively rewarding experience to digest and rife with some of COBALT's greatest individual moments.
By - Susan Dusse
Portland’s metal community is one of the best, tightest, brotherhoods (and sisterhoods) there is. We in Portland hear this consistently from touring bands that experience Portland. We know it instinctively, but to see it unfold in such a vivid way is awe inspiring. Through the thousands of shares on social media by Portland’s metal community, KATU and KOIN news stations were alerted to this situation and ran a brief news story…and as luck would have it, a member of Metallica was watching.
Blistered Earth, A Metallica Tribute Band, from Spokane, Washington, played Portland’s newest music venue, Rock Hard PDX, on Saturday, April 22, 2017. According to those in attendance, and confirmed by Blistered Earth’s drummer Shawn Murphy, the show was fantastic. After the night came to an end, the band settled into the Chestnut Tree Inn on their way back home. With a successful show, and rest on their mind, the band retreated to their rooms. Upon waking, they made the discovery that no band wants to experience: Their trailer and all of their gear was stolen.
I had the chance to talk with Blistered Earth Drummer, Shawn Murphy, and here is what he had to say: “I want to make sure and clarify that there is no confusion out there with people thinking this is club related. There seemed to be a little confusion out there at the start with people thinking it was stolen from Rock Hard PDX. It absolutely was not. Those guys are really cool and it’s a cool place.”
I asked Shawn about how they discovered the theft and how the hotel has responded. “We got up in the morning and it was gone! They took the hitch right off the truck. The hotel was nice about it. Their maintenance/surveillance guy was really cool. He went through all of the surveillance video with us.”
While the gear has not been recovered, the trailer has. “The trailer was actually recovered not long after we found out the stuff was gone. Someone called the cops and reported the trailer had been dumped about 25 miles east of town. Obviously, it was empty. They (the thieves) took it to Rooster Rock State Park. Apparently, they came off the ramp going East, went around, went down there, drilled the lock out, did their deal, went back up to the on-ramp going back to Portland, and right there at the on-ramp, they dumped the trailer.”
Per the band’s Facebook page, some of the equipment was insured. “To clarify on the insurance part, only some of us are insured. We don’t really know how it is going to shake out. It is not going to be fully covered, and some not at all. There is not a lot of sentimental value in a lot of the gear. Some can be replaced straight across. However, the Gibson Explorer that our singer plays and my drum set were probably the biggest thing that got stolen. My drum set is really hard to find. It’s a really old kit and its very specific to that era of the band. It’s funny because I wanted that kit since I was like 12 years old; I’m 42 now. I’ve only had it for like five years. You can never find it in a full set, you always have to buy it in pieces because it’s rare. It’s been discontinued since 1991 or 1992.”
So, here is where the story takes a turn for the better. Metallica, the real Metallica, is replacing Blistered Earth’s gear. I asked Shawn how the metal community, through social media, assisted in this happening. “Really no one was saying too much about it until Tuesday evening when I posted something on my Facebook page. I was just thinking that if I had a picture of my drums up there, it would get it into people’s minds, especially drummers who would recognize the rarity, and may help in finding them. Then from there, it just really just started to snowball. I was like ‘Oh wow! People are really getting the word out on this. This is cool!’ I think we have probably had 1,500 shares on that post. I didn’t think it would get to this point though. It’s funny, because I’ve had people message me or comment on my post saying, ‘Portland should have treated you better,’ and I’m like, ‘It’s quite the opposite actually. As far as I’m concerned, I think this actually shows how awesome the people of Portland are. It’s only two assholes that stole our stuff.’”
I asked Shawn how the band learned about Metallica’s very generous offer. “From what I understand, it was actually from KATU news. That was how it got communicated to those guys (Metallica). I got a call from a lady from Metallica HQ who said she was trying to contact me to verify who I was. Then from there they got me in touch with Metallica’s manager who asked me to send him a gear list. And so, I did, and it just kind of went from there.”
Regarding how Shawn feels about Metallica’s generosity. “It’s pretty awesome that they would do that. I guess it was actually James that saw the story on the website for KATU. I don’t how familiar you are with Metallica, or how closely you have followed their career, but it is fairly well documented that they had all of their gear stolen way back in the day, back when they didn’t have money to replace their gear. So, they have a first hand knowledge of how shitty this feels. But, again, I never thought it would come to this!”
“We are all pretty overwhelmed by how helpful everyone is. Everybody was cool to us while we were in Portland. You usually do find out how cool people are when things go wrong, not right. I’ve never actually heard of anything like this happening before. So, it is pretty cool. Like I said on my Facebook post, this wouldn’t have happened at all if the people didn’t step up and get this out there like they did; particularly the people of Portland. I’m generally someone who doesn’t like (social media). Usually I’m like, ‘Is there anything good about social media?’ And then something like this happens, and I guess there is something good every once in a while. I’d like to make a point to say thanks to everyone for getting behind us so much that it got this much attention and got to this point. It just wouldn’t have happened without that. We definitely will be back."
So, a very bad situation has been met with the shiny saviors that are Metallica. Not only is it incredibly cool, but it gives us another reason (as if we needed one) to love James, Lars, Kirk, and Robert.
If you have any information about the missing equipment, please contact Blistered Earth on their Facebook page or the Portland Police.
Photos of the stolen gear are shown below.