Thursday, November 16, 2017

PLAQUE MARKS + Unsane




Having kicked off their coast-to-coast US tour this week, Plaque Marks now team up with Unsane for a three-week stretch before solidering on for even more headlining shows. The Unsane leg begins Friday night in Brooklyn at Saint Vitus.

The perfect tourmates, Unsane are elder statesmen of the caustic noise-rock nightmare for which Plaque Marks carries the torch. Founded in New York City in the late '80s, their brutal sound remains intact: between the realness and rawness of New York hardcore, the muscle of Helmet, and the existential horror of Swans.

Nov 17 – Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus w/ Unsane
Nov 18 – Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar 
w/ Unsane
Nov 19 – Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter 
w/ Unsane
Nov 20 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl 
w/ Unsane
Nov 21 – New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa 
w/ Unsane
Nov 25 – Austin, TX @ Lost Well 
w/ Unsane
Nov 26 – Fort Worth, TX @ Ridglea Lounge w/ Unsane
Nov 28 – Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress w/ Unsane
Nov 29 – Las Vegas, NV @ Beauty Bar 
w/ Unsane
Dec 1 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill 
w/ Unsane
Dec 3 – Sacramento, CA @ Blue Lamp 
w/ Unsane
Dec 4 – Eugene, OR @ Old Nick’s 
w/ Unsane
Dec 5 – Seattle, WA @ Highline 
w/ Unsane
Dec 6 – Vancouver, BC @ Cobalt 
w/ Unsane
Dec 7 – Portland, OR @ Tonic Lounge 
w/ Unsane
Dec 8 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux 
w/ Unsane
Dec 9 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Diabolical Records 
w/ Unsane
Dec 10 – Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive 
w/ Unsane
Dec 11 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Flux Capacitor
Dec 12 – Lawrence, KS @ Replay Lounge
Dec 13 – Omaha, NE @ O’Leavers
Dec 14 – Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville
Dec 15 – Minneapolis, MN @ Eagles #34
Dec 16 – Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
Dec 17 – Cleveland, OH @ Now That’s Class

The self-proclaimed "stain on the smile of the Philadelphia music scene," Philly noise-rock dream team Plaque Marks comprises members of Creepoid, Fight Amp, Ecstatic Vision, and The Powder Room. Caveman drumming, tooth-rattling bass, painfully distorted guitars, and buried yells are the elements at play, and on debut EP Anxiety Driven Nervous Worship (out now on Learning Curve Records and Reptitlian Records) they sound like they were recorded with one lone mic, hanging from a noose in a Philly warehouse. 

Listen to the EP in full and buy, here:
http://plaquemarks.bandcamp.com/

"Even comparatively barbaric noise rock bands like Unsane sound positively reserved and sophisticated compared to this squall... Cruelly effective."
–Stereogum

"Rising Philly noise rock royalty Plaque Marks... Nasty in all the right ways."
–Decibel

"Brimming with crusty swagger, Anxiety Driven Nervous Worship rages like Pissed Jeans at their most shambolic... With machine precision, the three-piece stomp and gnash, lurching propulsively..."
–Exclaim!

"Highly combustible, jam-packed with jagged disharmony and overdriven to the brink of collapse. Plaque Marks sound absolutely filthy here. The distorted crunch that hangs over the entire production has enough character to be an instrument unto itself..." 
–Invisible Oranges

"A Philly band with members of Creepoid, Fight Amp, and Ecstatic Vision. Their sound takes cues from the style Unsane helped define..."
–BrooklynVegan

"A new musical outfit out of Philly that reminds me of the sonic brainfuck of bands like Hell No, Jesus Lizard, and Glazed Baby."
–No Echo

Photo by Dante Torrieri


Monday, November 13, 2017

CLERIC - Retrocausal


“The music this Philadelphia four-piece plays is a kind of metal, the way Lost Highway is a kind of movie. It's an elastic tissue of creepy electronic noise and barely-human screaming, impregnated with patches of riff-salad grind and hypercube mathcore."
–Chicago Reader

“Progressive, vitriolic and overwhelming... Raging grind gives way to plodding, cumbersome doom before opening the gates to ambient passages akin to the dark, cryptic atmosphere of Emperor.”
–Exclaim!


Philadelphia quartet Cleric presents sophomore album Retrocausal, its first new full-length in seven years.


Retrocausal is set for a December 8th release on Web of Mimicry, the label owned by musician Trey Spruance of Mr. Bungle and Secret Chiefs 3.


Stream new track "Ifrit," from Retrocausal, and pre-order the album, here:
https://clericmimicry.bandcamp.com/album/retrocausal-2

Founded in Philly in 2003, Cleric resides in the circle of bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan and Car Bomb – elite musicians playing avant-metal that wows on both a cerebral level and a gut level. Cleric's brand of metal is marked by dark, cinematic atmospheres and free jazz-informed forays, bursting through a base of highly technical, mathy shred. As a review in Chicago Reader phrased it, the sound is "a kind of metal, the way [David Lynch's] Lost Highway is a kind of movie. It's an elastic tissue of creepy electronic noise and barely-human screaming, impregnated with patches of riff-salad grind and hypercube mathcore."

On Retrocausal, Cleric has pushed its style to new heights. Meshuggah-esque hypnosis, doomful synths, spastic skronking, and blastbeats weave together into highly unpredictable, kitchen-sink epics, many surpassing the 9-minute mark. An ominous vibe, straight off a movie screen, underlies everything; lurking in the shadows are mysterious samples and field recordings evoking deep sea and outer space.


None other than John Zorn is a fan and collaborator who lent his talents to Retrocausal. Elder statesman of musical freedom, a man whose massive body of work incorporates jazz, classical, metal, klezmer, film scores, and more, Zorn guests on Retrocausal's closer, "Grey Lodge." Cleric's relationship with Zorn began in 2013 when he invited the band to work with him on his ongoing Masada project, and continued with his tapping guitarist Matt Hollenberg to join his band Simulacrum (along with John Medeski of Medeski, Martin, and Wood).

In addition to Zorn, Retrocausal features guest appearances by Mick Barr (Krallice, Orthrelm, Ocrilim) and Timba Harris (Secret Chiefs 3).


A concept album, Retrocausal is an adventure story set in a dystopian future. Cleric vocalist/keyboardist Nick Shellenberger explains: "Lyrically, Retrocausal opens a window into a bleak sci-fi landscape plagued by environmental fallout, in which corrupt governments send their citizens to die, and centers around one submarine crew that learns of their intended fate and chooses to pursue the beyond, despite the terrors that await. Told from different perspectives throughout the record, it's a story of hope, fear, uncertainty, and constant struggle in the face of failure and death, and in search of something that may never be."

The album was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Colin Marston (Gorguts, Dysrhythmia) at The Thousand Caves in Queens, New York.


The artwork was created by Cleric's Nick Shellenberger.


Label boss Spruance states, "When we here at Web of Mimicry ran across Cleric's music it almost seemed as if some kind of prophecy was being fulfilled. The music registered in our minds as a kind of missing link, like an inevitable stage in metal-oriented music that has needed to happen for a long time now."


Retrocausal tracklist:

1) The Treme
2) Ifrit
3) Lowell (Beef)
4) Lunger
5) Soroboruo
6) Resumption
7) The Spiraling Abyss
8) Triskaidekaphobe
9) Grey Lodge

Lineup: 

Nick Shellenberger - vocals, keyboards
Matt Hollenberg - guitar
Daniel Ephraim Kennedy - bass
Larry Kwartowitz - drums

Guests:
Timba Harris - violin on "The Treme"
Mick Barr - guitar on "Soroboruo"
John Zorn - alto saxophone on "Grey Lodge"

Discography:

Retrocausal (Web of Mimicry Records, 2017)
"Resumption" 7" single (Web of Mimicry Records, 2014)
Regressions (Web of Mimicry Records, 2010)
"Cumberbund" 12" single (Sound Devastation Records, 2008)
"Allotriophagy" CD single (self-released, 2006)
The Underling EP (self-released, 2004)

Live:

Nov 16 - New York, NY @ Village Vanguard (performing John Zorn's Masada material)
Dec 3 - Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus - Retrocausal record release show

Photo by Nick Shellenberger



Friday, November 10, 2017

Out today: VITRIOL - Pain Will Define Their Death


Pain Will Define Their Death, the new EP by Vitriol, is out today, self-released by the band.

Listen and download the EP for free, here:
https://vitriolwarfare.bandcamp.com/

"Proud successors to acts like Morbid Angel, Hate Eternal, Nile, and vintage Gojira... 'Intense' only just scratches the surface of the aural annihilation this band summons."
–MetalSucks

"Some of the most pulverizing death metal you can find these days."

–Metal Injection

"Vitriol very well may be the most vicious and explosive death metal band currently hailing from the United States."

–Decibel

"Vitriol has the potential to be the next truly great death metal band."

–New Noise

"Perhaps the most promising and immediately impactful statement by a death metal band this year."

–Heavy Blog Is Heavy

"This band wields the power to split the genre wide open."

–Nine Circles

Racking up serious pre-release praise from within the metal media, Pain Will Define Their Death sets forth Vitriol's sound in no uncertain terms. Through the EP's three tracks, the Portland, Oregon band lashes out with a style rooted in the turn-of-the-millennium works of Morbid Angel, Hate Eternal, and Nile. Vitriol's three members – guitarist/vocalist Kyle Rasmussen, bassist/vocalist Adam Roethlisberger, and drummer Scott Walker – attack the hallowed genre with a fresh aggression that cannot be faked. Dense, visceral, overwhelming, Vitriol's tornado of sound is familiar but new.


Rasmussen describes the band's intensely focused vision as follows: “Violence is the element that will always be found in any Vitriol song. Trivializing the human experience and shining a light on its frailty and natural cowardice… I truly believe that what we want to communicate and represent with our band is a universal truth to everyone. We’re trying to tap into something that everyone has inside of them.”

Pain Will Define Their Death was recorded by the band and Derek Leisy at Audiosiege (Obituary, Full of Hell), and mixed by Taylor Young (Nails, Xibalba). It was mastered by Stephan Hawkes (Red Fang)

Out today: AXIS - Shift


Axis' sophomore album Shift is out today on Good Fight Music.

Listen to the full album, here:
http://bit.ly/2iL0UzK

Buy, here:
http://axis.merchnow.com/

"A face smasher. Straddling the atmospherics of Neurosis and the blocky strike of Converge, Axis conjure a decidedly dark hardcore sound."
–PunkNews

"Sprawling sound... AXIS have joined labelmates Hollow Earth in their increasingly atmospheric yet metallic ambitions."
–Exclaim!

"Axis have now officially joined the ranks of cutting-edge metallic-hardcore bands in the grand tradition of Converge... Their sound is white-hot fire and seething vitriol and everything great about extreme music."

–MetalSucks

"A heavy hit of raging hardcore."
–Cvlt Nation 

Sophomore full-length Shift sees Axis in a state of transformation: stripped down from a 5-piece band to a quartet, its metallic attack is now expanding into a more dynamic and cathartic sound, thanks to new inspiration found in bands like Neurosis and Shellac. Shift is an exciting progression from one of the most compelling of the young, heavy hardcore bands out today.

Before Shift, there was Axis' 2015 debut full-length, Show Your Greedwhich inspired Stereogum to describe the band as rightful heirs to '90s heroes Botch and Kiss It Goodbye. An all-out assault, Show Your Greed pummeled and bruised, and Axis took its show on the road with bands like Old Wounds and Homewrecker.


Rather than trying to top the tooth-gnashing of Show Your Greed, Axis then took a left-turn in 2016 and teamed up with adventurous Memphis trio Seraph/The Light to create a collaborative EP which saw the two bands merge into one unholy mega-church, pounding out a slower, crushing vibe inspired by Neurosis and Cult of Luna.


New album Shift is the culmination of all this recent history, taking the bark and bite of Show Your Greed and boosting it with lessons learned from the Seraph/The Light experiment – namely, a thicker, more massive sound, and a masterful wielding of tension via the interplay of guitarists Dylan Downey and Patrick Chumley. 


Shift also marks the departure of frontman Rafael Morales, with guitarist Downey taking on vocals in addition to guitar. Drummer Thomas Cantwell and bassist Tyler Forsythe (also both members of Gouge Away, currently on tour with Touche Amore) have beefed up their attack into an all-powerful wallop.


Shift was recorded and mixed by Andy Nelson (Weekend Nachos, Harm's Way), with additional recording by Ethan Murphy (Blistered) at Back Forty Recording. The album was mastered by Brad Boatright (Nails, Full of Hell).

Out today: MONOTROPE - Unifying Receiver


Unifying Receiver, the debut album by Monotrope, is out today on New Atlantis Records and Sleeping Giant Glossolalia.

Listen to the full album here:
https://newatlantisrecords.bandcamp.com/album/unifying-receiver

Buy (vinyl and digital):
https://newatlantisrecords.bandcamp.com/album/unifying-receiver

Buy (cassette):
http://store.sleepinggiantglossolalia.com/product/monotrope-unifying-receiver-cassette-pre-order

"Don Caballero quickly jumps to mind... Rodan, Slint, and perhaps even a bit of the Dazzling Killmen... They continually skirt the boundaries between math rock and those much heavier sonic landscapes... Technical and heavy, their material is also quite memorable." 
–Burning Ambulance

"Instrumental rock innovators Monotrope... Brings an arresting sense of dissonance to an ambitious pattern of overlapping rhythms." 
–Culture Creature

"An excellent instrumental rock/metal outfit... Music for people raised on Shellac, Don Caballero, and Unwound."

–No Echo

A new collab of four veterans of avant/progressive music, Monotrope exists in a realm of instrumental rock that is prog in its musicality but punk at its core. In a space between the twists and turns of Don Caballero, and the raw, heartbreaking power of Slint or Rodan, Monotrope's compositions drive forward, equal parts complexity and grit. Guitars intertwine in dissonant, polyrhythmic webs, while the rhythm section forges ahead on a straighter, unrelenting path. Abstract and intricate when viewed closely, Unifying Receiver rocks hard from the bird's eye view; its six songs are emotive, guitar-driven tales of struggle and catharsis, travel and arrival, tension and release.


Tracked in a DIY fashion at four locations across the nation, and mixed by Tim Green (Melvins, Sleater-Kinney), the recording is as live and natural as can be – straight from the creators' hands to your ears – yet the sound is rich and full, and a joy to get lost in. The album was mastered by Carl Saff (Unsane, Big Business).


Guitarist Edward Ricart, known from bands such as Hyrrokkin and Matta Gawa, is owner of New Atlantis Records, the label handling the Unifying Receiver release, whose catalog boasts an awesome range of acts from the experimental fringes of jazz, rock, and noise. Bassist Matthew Taylor is a member of Bellini, alongside Girls Against Boys drummer Alexis Fleisig, and worked for years as art director for Touch & Go Records, designing iconic album layouts for the label's revered roster of bands.


Ricart and Taylor are flanked by guitarist Dan Wilson (ex-Hurl) and drummer Joe Barker (Unraze)Between the four of them, these men have collaborated in one way or another with a phonebook's worth of eminent musicians: from avant icons like Glenn Branca and Merzbowto members of hardcore and indie-rock royalty like Black Flag, Fugazi, Brainiac, and Tortoise. 


On Unifying Receiver these vets channel their vast experience into a sound which reflects their next-level musicianship and love for the avant, but which, above all else, bursts with feeling and takes us on a ride. Without words, this album says a lot. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

VITRIOL + MetalSucks


"Proud successors to acts like Morbid Angel, Hate Eternal, Nile, and vintage Gojira... 'Intense' only just scratches the surface of the aural annihilation this band summons."
–MetalSucks

"Some of the most pulverizing death metal you can find these days."

–Metal Injection

"Vitriol very well may be the most vicious and explosive death metal band currently hailing from the United States."

–Decibel

"Vitriol has the potential to be the next truly great death metal band."

–New Noise

"Perhaps the most promising and immediately impactful statement by a death metal band this year."

–Heavy Blog Is Heavy

"This band wields the power to split the genre wide open."

–Nine Circles

Vitriol's newest track, "Violence, A Worthy Truth," has made its debut today via MetalSucks.


Listen, here:
http://www.metalsucks.net/2017/11/08/exclusive-track-premiere-vitriols-violence-a-worthy-truth/

The song appears on new EP Pain Will Define Their Death – the EP will be available as a free download this Friday, November 10th, on the band's Bandcamp page. 


Racking up serious pre-release praise from within the metal media, Pain Will Define Their Death sets forth Vitriol's sound in no uncertain terms. Through the EP's three tracks, the Portland, Oregon band lashes out with a style rooted in the turn-of-the-millennium works of Morbid Angel, Hate Eternal, and Nile. Vitriol's three members – guitarist/vocalist Kyle Rasmussen, bassist/vocalist Adam Roethlisberger, and drummer Scott Walker – attack the hallowed genre with a fresh aggression that cannot be faked. Dense, visceral, overwhelming, Vitriol's tornado of sound is familiar but new.


Rasmussen describes the band's intensely focused vision as follows: “Violence is the element that will always be found in any Vitriol song. Trivializing the human experience and shining a light on its frailty and natural cowardice… I truly believe that what we want to communicate and represent with our band is a universal truth to everyone. We’re trying to tap into something that everyone has inside of them.”

Pain Will Define Their Death was recorded by the band and Derek Leisy at Audiosiege (Obituary, Full of Hell), and mixed by Taylor Young (Nails, Xibalba). It was mastered by Stephan Hawkes (Red Fang)


Photo by Charlotte Gane

AXIS + PunkNews


"A face smasher. Straddling the atmospherics of Neurosis and the blocky strike of Converge, Axis conjure a decidedly dark hardcore sound."
–PunkNews

"Sprawling sound... AXIS have joined labelmates Hollow Earth in their increasingly atmospheric yet metallic ambitions."
–Exclaim!

"Axis have now officially joined the ranks of cutting-edge metallic-hardcore bands in the grand tradition of Converge... Their sound is white-hot fire and seething vitriol and everything great about extreme music."

–MetalSucks

"A heavy hit of raging hardcore."
–Cvlt Nation 

With the release of Axis' second full-length, Shift, coming up on November 10th, PunkNews has launched a stream of the entire album.

Listen, here:
https://www.punknews.org/article/65163/axis-shift-punknews-exclusive

Out this Friday on Good Fight Music, Shift sees Axis in a state of transformation: stripped down from a 5-piece band to a quartet, its metallic attack is now expanding into a more dynamic and cathartic sound, thanks to new inspiration found in bands like Neurosis and Shellac. Shift is an exciting progression from one of the most compelling of the young, heavy hardcore bands out today.

Before Shift, there was Axis' 2015 debut full-length, Show Your Greedwhich inspired Stereogum to describe the band as rightful heirs to '90s heroes Botch and Kiss It Goodbye. An all-out assault, Show Your Greed pummeled and bruised, and Axis took its show on the road with bands like Old Wounds and Homewrecker.


Rather than trying to top the tooth-gnashing of Show Your Greed, Axis then took a left-turn in 2016 and teamed up with adventurous Memphis trio Seraph/The Light to create a collaborative EP which saw the two bands merge into one unholy mega-church, pounding out a slower, crushing vibe inspired by Neurosis and Cult of Luna.


New album Shift is the culmination of all this recent history, taking the bark and bite of Show Your Greed and boosting it with lessons learned from the Seraph/The Light experiment – namely, a thicker, more massive sound, and a masterful wielding of tension via the interplay of guitarists Dylan Downey and Patrick Chumley. 


Shift also marks the departure of frontman Rafael Morales, with guitarist Downey taking on vocals in addition to guitar. Drummer Thomas Cantwell and bassist Tyler Forsythe (also both members of Gouge Away, currently on tour with Touche Amore) have beefed up their attack into an all-powerful wallop.


Shift was recorded and mixed by Andy Nelson (Weekend Nachos, Harm's Way), with additional recording by Ethan Murphy (Blistered) at Back Forty Recording. The album was mastered by Brad Boatright (Nails, Full of Hell).


Photo by Mike Moynihan