All posts by STATIKNOIZE

Experience gives you the wisdom to see the bigger picture. Genres, subgenres, off-shoot factions, they all come from the same original roots. From there, you can choose your paths and find a shitload of good, new things that you might've never given a chance.

New Music From NYC’s Mother Feather

Over the past few weeks NYC’s Mother Feather has been busy building hype around, and putting the finishing touches on, their upcoming sophomore LP, which is scheduled to be released sometime in 2018 via Metal Blade Records. The album is produced by Grammy-nominated producer Joshua Valleau (Kanye West, John Legend, Snoop Dogg, Common, Imani Coppola, Alice Smith). With two new tracks being introduced quickly one after the other—“Trampoline” and “Egyptology,” respectively—hopefully it’ll be sooner rather than later in the year. Both new tracks were released with lyric videos which can be seen on the playlist below.

mother-feather_photo01The lyric video for “Trampoline” was created by King Z (Dylan Bowman). “He made quite a first impression on me,” says Courtney. “It was his first NYC rock show ever and he was totally wild-eyed afterwards, a fireball of pure enthusiasm. I liked him right away. Dylan made the move to Brooklyn to attend art school at Pratt shortly thereafter and I’ve become a big fan of spectacularly psychedelic style, which is on full display in his webseries, ‘King Z.’ I was thrilled when he agreed to collaborate and lend his style to a lyric video for ‘Trampoline.'”

About the song “Egyptology,” Courtney explains, “I wrote ‘Egyptology’ after doing an archeological dig of my soul. It’s pure pop myth–if ancient Egypt looked like the Bowery in 1970’s NYC. It’s a story of rebirth into a supremely fabulous rock and roll afterlife.”MotherFeather-Egyptology Of the new lyric video, she says, “Isaiah King has been a trusted collaborator ever since we made the ‘Mother Feather’ video together. We knew he could build upon the amazing work he’d done with the ‘Egyptology’ single cover artwork, and he blew us away with the final result. It didn’t hurt that he’d taken a trip to Egypt a few years before and had sketchbooks full of incredible material to incorporate.”

Incidentally, both new tracks were featured in two different episodes of Showtime’s smash series Shameless Season 8.

Mother-Feather-promoMother Feather released their self-titled album last year via Metal Blade Records; for their efforts, the group has garnered massive buzz for their unique brand of rock, vibrant Bowie-esque costumes and makeup, and enthralling live show. Having been featured on IFC.com, TeamCoco.com, and HuffingtonPost.com (who declared them as “a great New York City band in the tradition of Great New York City Bands”), Mother Feather was also named “new band of the week” by Metal Hammer, and has received much play on Daniel P. Carter’s Rock Show on BBC Radio 1.

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FEATURE REVIEW: SELENE VIGIL – ‘Tough Dance’

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Selene Vigil released That Was Then, her solo debut, back in 2010. Seven years later, in the fall of 2017, she returns with her sophomore effort, Tough Dance. Her solo work is something far apart from what she did with her seminal band 7 Year Bitch. There is, however, a fundamental intensity and severity that remains with her, in her music.

57e9717a-fe80-4585-b5ae-f055672c45dfTough Dance has the atmosphere of an intimate setting. For all of the intensity the songs have, Selene’s performance on the album feels personal. Opening the record up with the strut and stewing ire of “Sha La La,” she sets a tone that’s almost as uneasy as it is electric. Then ending the record with a track like “Soul In Traction” exemplifies her willingness and ability to marry extremes. Much of the time, her vocal presence is more like a voice inside of your head rather than everything coming on hard and in your face.

In Selene’s earlier days, the music felt caustic, delivered with piss and vinegar and fueled by rage. It helped develop the artist she is today. These days her artistic work is sounding focused and calculated. She delivers it with a subtle, slow-burning power and acrimonious deliberation. The dichotomy of a burning punk rock spirit and the cold flurries of post-punk guitars and percussions won’t allow Tough Dance to be simplistically relegated to one or two areas of the rock & roll spectrum.

Selene Vigil will kick your ass.

FEATURE REVIEW: STÄLKER – ‘Shadow of the Sword’

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Last year, the New Zealand born trio Stälker unloaded a smashing demo/EP called Satanic Panic that ripped through speakers with a massive speed metal attack of Canadian proportions (circa 1983-84). It blew me away, so I reached out to the band to see about more music. Keeping their cards close to the best, they mentioned new music hopefully sooner rather than later but not much more. True to their word, Stälker has released their debut LP Shadow of the Sword via Napalm Records. They’re providing labelmates Evil Invaders with some worthy speed metal company and bolstering the label’s speed/thrash presence with a stellar record to help close a great year for music out.

Speaking of Evil Invaders, if you want to draw comparisons, Stälker could be the Sodom/Tankard to EI’s Kreator/Destruction. Fortunately for those just becoming acquainted with the band, they’ve included all three tracks—“Satanic Panic,” “The Mutilator,” and “Shocked to Death”—found on their earlier Satanic Panic demo.STALKER-Satanic-Panic-cover-art Also carried over from that first release is their distinct rawness of overall sound value. Stälker’s visceral speed metal attack arms Shadow of the Sword with a furious arsenal of sharp, jagged riffs, barreling percussive rhythms careening forward at frenzied speeds and corrosive vocal attacks that can deliver caustic shrieks at throat-shredding volumes.

Shadow of the Sword is an unrelenting speed metal assault by a young band that absolutely deserves to be looked into, especially by fans of classic underground speed and thrash. Now, at the dusk of 2017, Stälker drops Shadow of the Sword just in time to be considered one of the year’s best metal albums. So pick one up for yourself, and someone else. Don’t be a selfish prick! There’s enough music to go around. Merch is another story, that shit is going fast.

The band let’s you name your price for their Satanic Panic release. It can be found below, so dig in!

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FEATURE REVIEW: VOJD – “Behind the Frame” 7″

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If you’re new to the action, VOJD is the heavy hard rock force previously known as Black Trip. Since the last Black Trip LP, Shadowline, was released, they’ve made some changes. Now a four-piece, drummer Anders Bentell has replaced Jonas Wikstrand—who left amicably, of his own volition—and Joseph Tholl is now playing bass in Johan Bergebäck’s stead while also remaining the lead vocalist. The band decided on the renaming to essentially reflect a new beginning. It could be argued that VOJD is a new entity, but the majority of Black Trip—Joseph Tholl and guitarists Peter Stjärnvind and Linus Björklund—still remain.

Just in time to bid 2017 a farewell, VOJD is charging ahead fast and hard with a new two song 7” single titled “Behind the Frame” via High Roller Records. Both songs are exclusive and they will not appear on VOJD’s upcoming full-length, entitled The Outer Ocean. Faint punk-like undertones peek through in the opening riff of the guitar-driven title track. Joseph’s distinct vocal delivery is strong, at peak force, and it guides the song with a fierce NWOBHM-esque attack. The single’s flipside is a killer cover of a song by the English hard rock band Tempest, called “Funeral Empire,” taken from their 1974 Living in Fear LP. VOJD takes the song by the balls and makes it sound like it was written for them, like all great covers should do.

Looking at the bigger picture, “Behind the Frame” kinda sets the tone, and expectation, for The Outer Ocean. The band is prepared to put more concentration into their activities this time around. Joseph Tholl explains, “I’d say it’s a bit more focused now. It’s definitely no side project. We want to play live more on this album than we’ve done on the previous ones. We’re really looking forward to perform a strong set of songs from all our three albums.”

VOJD-The-Outer-Ocean-LP-BLACKThe projected date for The Outer Ocean is February 23, 2018. Like a lot of people, the new full-length can’t come out soon enough for me, so I’ll post any updates and other pertinent VOJD information as soon as it comes in. In the meantime, check out the VOJD/Black Trip playlist below which includes the original version of Tempest’s “Funeral Empire.”

Physical copies of “Behind the Frame” are limited to 750: 100 transparent ultra clear vinyl, 400 transparent beer coloured vinyl, 250 black vinyl

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CLASSIC ALBUM REISSUE: The Obsessed

a2742210829_10Earlier in 2017, The Obsessed released that incredible new full-length album through Relapse Records, called Sacred, after a long hiatus of well over 20 years (and every last cut was on point, btw). Now, they’re closing the year out with a fucking stellar reissue of their eponymous debut album. Relapse really came through, giving it top-shelf treatment with all of the extras you’d look for in a 2xCD/2xLP definitive edition package.

This version plays with 23 tracks altogether; nine original, four demo, ten live. The first nine originals are remastered but otherwise left alone, so that heavy first impression as a massive earthmover is still effective. 58a6677586c4a440f35e8788783a76c1“Concrete Cancer,” “Feelingz,” “Mental Kingdom,” and “Hiding Masque”—all taken from the band’s highly sought after Concrete Cancer demo—alone are worth the purchase and subsequent spins. They actually give the comprehensive collection of work a different, sturdier presence. The last ten songs comprise a full set performed at the legendary Washington DC venue The Bayou on April 15th, 1985. From start to finish, both the audio and the band’s performance is on the money. By the way, the Concrete Cancer demo recordings are available on limited vinyl format.

This reissue played like a welcome reminder. It struck me like it had the first time I heard it years ago. Honestly, it kinda hit in the same way Sacred had earlier in the year. It’s always a good thing to hear, a great iconic band preserve their musical integrity, retaining its fundamental values and intensity. The two albums feel like they were cut from the same cloth, really. It’s common to see The Obsessed referred to as an American doom metal band but there’s always been more than that going on inside of their tunes. Wino’s got an uncanny ability to take elements from styles like the blues, southern rock, bare-bones rock & roll, punk, etc., and bend them to his will for purposes of creating music that’s alive and perfectly capable of surviving time and change. As far as The Obsessed goes, their legacy is bookended by their best offerings. Luckily, this happens to be a time when you can easily trap both releases.

Physical copies of the reissue get a load of expanded artwork and obscure and exclusive photos that’re tied together by the extended liner notes from Scott ‘Wino’ Weinrich. So both original and new fans are gonna benefit from picking the release up. The music should be the primary incentive to grab a copy, but the extras will seal the deal. Obviously, there’s a super convenient digital version available, but those physicals sure are fucking cool.

Pick it all up here.

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If for some reason you missed Sacred, you should check it out just below. Also, find the updated list of tour dates for a stop near you.

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The Obsessed are out on the road with Clutch and Devin Townsend Project. It’s a final push for 2017 that’ll take them up to the end  of the year. They’ll wind the stint up on December 31st in Columbus, Ohio. The Obsessed will have one-off shows scattered throughout the tour that’ll feature them only. You can find all of the scheduled dates below.

THE OBSESSED w/ Clutch, Devin Townsend Project: 
11/29/2017 Cone Denim Entertainment – Greensboro, NC
11/30/2017 Ground Zero – Spartanburg, SC *
12/01/2017 House Of Blues – Myrtle Beach, SC
12/02/2017 Revolution – St. Petersburg, FL
12/03/2017 Revolution – Fort Lauderdale, FL
12/04/2017 Will’s Pub – Orlando, FL
12/05/2017 Backyard Stage @ St. Augustine Amphitheater – St. Augustine, FL
12/06/2017 Vinyl Music Hall – Pensacola, FL
12/07/2017 Tavern – Hattiesburg, MS *
12/08/2017 Varsity Theater – Baton Rouge, LA
12/09/2017 The Aztec Theater – San Antonio, TX
12/10/2017 House Of Blues – Houston, TX
12/12/2017 Gillioz Theater – Springfield, MO
12/13/2017 Bourbon Theater – Lincoln, NE
12/14/2017 Livewire Lounge – Chicago, IL
12/15/2017 Limelight Eventplex – Peoria, IL
12/16/2017 Marathon Music Works – Nashville, TN
12/18/2017 Golden Pony – Harrisonburg, VA *
12/20/2017 Middle East – Boston, MA *
12/21/2017 Geno’s – Portland, ME *
12/22/2017 Photo City Improv – Rochester, NY *
12/23/2017 Black Cat – Washington, DC *
12/27/2017 Upstate Concert Hall – Clifton Park, NY
12/28/2017 Starland Ballroom – Sayreville, NJ
12/29/2017 The National – Richmond, VA
12/30/2017 The International – Knoxville, TN
12/31/2017 Express Live – Columbus, OH
* THE OBSESSED only

PRIEST: Talking New Flesh with the Puppet Master

 

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So, Priest is finally putting the full-length release out. The Pit was a fantastic lead-up and New Flesh delivers on The Pit’s promise.

Thank you! I’m glad that you liked it. You never know how people are going to react once it’s released into the world.

Just for background, when did Priest come together as a band?

When we first started talking about it, it was 2011, so the idea has been there for a while. In 2015 we really started to pull everything together. That summer is when we first went into the recording studio with Alpha producing. But then everybody had their own things that they had to do so we just recorded when we could get together.

How many people is Priest comprised of in total?

Priest has three members; Salt, Sulfur, and Mercury. There’s one singer and then two guys running the synthesizers, electronics, and electronic percussion.

Before New Flesh you guys released The Pit. Is that meant to be an EP or single?

Actually, I really don’t know! It started out as a single but then we released a second single. I can see how that could be a little bit confusing.

Either way, it was Priest’s first official release and a precursor meant to lead up to the full-length…

Yes, exactly.

It’d probably be a good time to address the past with the inevitable curiosity about the affiliation with Ghost. Without really giving that anymore attention outside of clearing things up, what was the affiliation with Ghost? Did that have anything to do with the way Priest came together?

Alpha produced the first Ghost album, so there is that connection. It may be that seeing how fans responded to the mystery and anonymity of Ghost kind of served as a catalyst of sorts for the way we might approach some of the visual aspects of Priest. I guess maybe it even served as a springboard for us to dare to do what we have with Priest. I would say that it might be considered a bit of a learning process as far as stepping into the unknown is concerned.

So in that respect, Priest was affiliated with Ghost, but no other significance. How about yourself, personally?

Let’s just say that I was something like a marionette within the band back in those days. The other two guys in Priest we’re not in Ghost, however. But you know, that was a great period of learning in my life. I loved playing in a group with such great musicians.

For you, is Priest an artistic project or is it something more substantial and long term?

It was always meant to be a band. We have a lot of ideas and plans for the future. We haven’t done it full time yet but we will get there. I’m sure that some people probably see it as a project but it’s something much more for us. Priest is something that we’re all serious about.

The release of the group’s first full-length album is certainly a step in that direction. The material has a significant crossover appeal. How did Priest’s sound begin to make its shape? One album in and there’s already a discernable stylistic approach established, it seems.

I guess you could say that our sound is like a broth of what we grew up listening to. We wanted to write an album that shows what we love and where we come from, so we went back and listened to recordings from bands we’ve loved for a long time because we wanted to see how they were recorded, the way they used their synthesizers on album’s like Music for the Masses and other early albums. The production also gave the songs a different touch, I think.

When did you begin the sessions for New Flesh?

We began recording that material in late 2016 and January of 2017.

Had all of the songs been written prior to recording them or were they done in the studio?

Most of the songs already existed when we got to the studio, but a few were completed once we went in, like “Populist,” for example (an album highlight – Ed.).We wanted to experiment a little once we got there. A couple of the songs were taken from long, long pieces on a computer and given to Alpha to be cut and arranged. It was a little bit of a strange way of working but I think we manage to find some good things that way. But I think it’s always great to be able to find something new in creative experiments like that.

The so-called ‘happy accidents’.

Exactly.

How did you guys go about writing the material?

We have one main songwriter, but there are some collaborations between him and Alpha. The first song on the record is a collaboration between him and Mercury, which was written a while back. Of course Alpha came in and put his touch on it so it was a completely different piece after that. But for this album we just had one main songwriter. In the future we will experiment much more with a lot of different ideas that we have floating around. It would be nice to just go away for a week somewhere, to a house or something and plug in our synthesizers and equipment and see what happens. There are so many different ways to go about doing something like that.

b5377fff506b5e755f33d3bd822acf86.960x960x1You mentioned having a lot of different ideas to work from. Is there more music that didn’t make it onto the album for whatever reason? Whether it was due to time, continuity, or something else?

We actually have a lot of songs, we’re not going to run dry. I mean, we have songs that have been written over time, maybe the span of 15 years or something. That’s a lot of songs!

I’m sure it’s safe to assume that the years yielded a lot of music.

Yes! It’s kind of like a gold mine. With so much material, that gives us a lot of music to experiment with. It gives the future some security, knowing that we have so much music to go through and work with.

I would think that would make you feel a lot more free to explore further reaches of your spectrum.

Yes, I guess it does. It’s kind of like insurance or having a backup.

The influences of classic artists and bands comes through but you guys manage to keep your sound your own while incorporating some of those elements really well. Is the possibility of turning younger listeners on to that early music that you love something you’d like to do?

Oh, absolutely. It’s a compliment to hear that you can see those influences in our music, so thank you. We did reach back into our pasts to bring this music out.

So, is that something that the group will continue to do?

I don’t know, honestly. Maybe we could reach back centuries and try something with classical music interpreted through modern technology and music machines! Of course, whenever you’re lost you can always go back to Bach. You can always find something within his music.

C76by_tVQAAhWDzWith regard to the creative aspect of writing, what inspires you? Outside of music, I mean. Is it scenery? Is it film? Do stories inspire you? Where do you find that kind of thing in the world?

I have vivid dreams. When I was young I used to dream about things like robots and technology. I guess I found some inspiration in electronics. I used to dream in pixels, something that looks like that, anyway. I also find creativity in things like video games or movies. I have a lot of ideas that are inspired by movies. Not all of the lyrics were inspired by movies on New Flesh, necessarily, though the title comes from the David Cronenberg movie Videodrome. I think that a lot of inspiration can come from daydreams. But sometimes that’s very hard to understand. I mean, how do you interpret that? How do you grasp that and turn it into something real? Is it in sounds? Is it in words? To be truthful, I think that I can find inspiration in just about anything that can affect me and any kind of way.

What kind of standards would you say that you’ve set for yourself? Creatively speaking, I mean.

For me it’s really important that words and music fit together. It all has to be one entity. I absolutely feel like it has to work for me. As long as I get it and it means something to me, that’s what matters, I think.

What about the creativity where the visual aesthetics concerned? The masks are effectively ominous in their own way.

There were a lot of ideas that we put through the grinder. It took a while. We didn’t know which way we wanted to go. I found some bondage masks online and I picked one that I though looked pretty cool. I thought, “Let’s put that on with the priest’s collar to see how it works. Then, bingo!” There it was. It was one of those moments that you don’t really have to talk about it because everyone just knows. Since everybody really liked it, naturally, that’s what we decided to do. Then we decided to use the bird masks for the other two people. It’s kind of like the image of Odin and the two crows. Of course, with the bondage mask, there’s a little bit of a Hellraiser influence, as well!

What does Priest’s foreseeable future hold where touring is concerned? Has that been discussed?

We’re actually planning for our live show now.

23551110_766973936829695_2498252667320934479_oAny substantial plans to speak of?

We have two shows coming up: Vienna on December 7th and Copenhagen on December 9th. Then there’s going to be a showcase for industry type people and close family members. After that it’ll be a matter of finding a good team around the band for us to work with. We have some great ideas that we want to do the right way.

Are there any places, geographically speaking, that you’d like to shoot for?

Well, at this point it’s easiest and makes the most sense to focus on Europe. We’d love to play around the U.K., but all of Europe should be fairly easy for us right now. Especially compared to places like North America, Australia, or Asia, though we do want to visit those places, too. In the long-term we’re focused globally.

It’ll be great to see these songs live with a top-notch show to go with it.

Hopefully it will be much sooner than later.

Well, thanks so much for your time today. Good luck with the album release. It’s certainly one of my personal favorites for the year. And good luck with the tour plans. Be well!

Thank you! I appreciate your time, as well. It will be great to make something happen. Good bye!

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R.I.P. Black Trip / Arise! VOJD – New Music Coming

Earlier this year Black Trip announced the friendly departure and replacement of their drummer, Jonas Wikstrand, with Anders Bentell. Moving forward with new music and the new lineup, they subsequently changed the band’s name to VOJD and released a great new song called “Into the Void/Heavy Skies.”

HRR_594_Cover_Single.inddFinally, there’s confirmation of new music with their “Behind the Frame 7” that’ll be released on December 8th through High Roller Records. The 7” holds two brand new exclusive recordings that will not be found on their new full-length album after the first of the year. Singer/bassist Joseph Toll comments on the songs: “’Behind The Frame’ was the last song we wrote and it was intended to be part of the album. However, as we decided to make an external single, we thought this song would be great as the A-side. The B-side ‘Funeral Empire’ is a cover of a band called Tempest. These two songs are totally exclusive. We have more material that we might do the same thing with in the near future.”

With regard to “Into the Void/Heavy Skies,” Joseph elaborates “We wanted to put something out during the transition between Black Trip and VOJD. This is a song we’ve had laying around as an idea since a couple of years back. The album contains a re-recorded version of this song.”

You can listen “Into the Void/Heavy Skies” on the playlist below, along with a few choice Black Trip tunes. Pre-orders for “Behind the Frame” can be made here. More on the upcoming LP to come. Make sure to keep looking in for any updates, info, music, etc.

VOJD Lineup:
Peter Stjärnvind – Lead guitar
Joseph Tholl – Bass and lead vocals
Linus Björklund – Lead guitar
Anders Bentell – Drums and percussion