Since their inception in 2010, the ascent of Jess and the Ancient Ones has been astounding. With a chart-toppingly successful debut album in 2011 and the occult surf metal EP Astral Sabbat (2013) under their collective belt, the group won over many new followers on their North American tour with King Diamond last winter. Since then the collective have thinned their herd from seven to six, and spent months with minds locked inwards together, perfecting their craft and cultivating what was to become their second album.
This autumn equinox it was signalled that the hour of the Second Psychedelic Coming had come at last and work on the album complete. And what rough beast it is!
Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes will be released on CD, double LP and digital formats on December 4th. Thomas Corpse, responsible for songwriting duties, comments on the great work, " We have been following our natural need to explore different forms of musical impression, and so again our sound has evolved one step further. I must say that the change is most welcomed, for we are not the likes who like to stay in a strangling doctrine of genre rules of any sort. Music should never be composed in order to please a crowd. The most important thing is that the composing element is pleased with the outcome, for only then it may also bring true joy to the ears of the listener. This album has its errors, and we want them to be there. They are us. They are the sound of our current state."
First single cut off the album is the ode to Albert Hoffmann, In Levitating Secret Dreams, to which there will also be a suitably mind-bending music video by Romanian artist Costin Chioreanu. This dark keyboard-driven occult garage rocker will also be available on a limited vinyl 7" on November 6th.
"The album title can be seen as a bridge between the past and now. Some thoughts, words, and poems from the Aquarian age are bound to everlast and inspire generations to come. Their core always being essentially the same. Love and freedom", continues Thomas Corpse, "Often in history that message has traveled from characters that society has announced to be ill, corruptive, and dangerous to common good. Of course the rich in their ivory towers want to silence all of these poets and warriors, but luckily they never succeed. Here be nine songs with that same old message. Feed your minds."
Black Capricorn was grown on salty soil of Sardinia. This extravagant psychedelic doom trio consists of two ladies on rhythm section (Virginia – basss, Rakela – drums) and frontman singing guitarist Fabrizio, they work together tirelessly since 2008 making their best on dark path. After two full length albums “Black Capricorn” (2011) and “Born Under the Capricorn” (2013) the band has slightly changed direction and turned to more dirty and dark aspects of Capricorn on their third release “Cult of Black Friars”. Where do they turn their feet next time? Can we predict it? After hours of meditation we done this telepathic interview with Fabrizio, and I received some answers on my questions.
Ciao Fabrizio! How are you? What's new in Black Capricorn family?
Hey Aleks, good to hear from you again ;) We are still alive and we have a couple of gigs in the nexts weeks ahah
Black Capricorn has a new record - split album with Bretus. And there's a new song "The Hound of Harbinger God", did you record it exclusively for this release or is it left after "Cult of Black Friars" album?
It was written for the split with Bretus, when our friends asked to do a split we have already records the album but I had some more riffs so it was good to record for the split.
Songs for such small releases must be strong ones as the band has to show it's best with limited space of just one song. So can you say that "The Hound of Harbinger God" best of Black Capricorn in this moment?
I don't know if it's the best at the moment but it is for sure one of the highlights for Black Capricorn
Ripper is an old school heavy band which was born in 1977. The band played only a handful of occasional shows and record one full length album “…And The Dead Shall Rise” (1986) with songs lyrics dealing with living dead stories and other dark subjects. Ripper was split somewhere in 1990 and reborn about 19 years later by it's only original member - guitarist Rob Graves. Rob has recorded with some help of guest musicians second album “The Dead Have Rizen” under Ripper name and now he returns with a new work "The Third Witness" written “in the vein of the first 4 Sabbath albums”. A bunch of dark and catchy retro styled heavy hits, driving energy and guest appearance of Steve Sylvester himself - that expects you on this album released by Black Widow Records on 2015.
Hi Rob! It's said that Ripper was born in 1977! It's hard to believe!
Hello! The band was founded by bassist Sadie Paine in 1977, and yes, that was long ago. She, and high school friend ( and drummer ) Animal Axeman created it together, actually.
What did drive you to play heavy metal? What inspired you to write?
All of my major influences pretty much came from the 70's: Hendrix/Trower/Montrose/Purple/Sabbath/Heep/Kiss/Cooper/Priest etc. With perhaps the darker of those inspiring the themes I've used, and currently use.
Singer/songwriter Emma Ruth Rundle has been quite busy since the release of her stunning debut solo album Some Heavy Ocean in May of last year. She's toured the U.S. and Europe several times on her own, as well as alongside her band Marriages, who recently released their sophomore effort Salome to great critical acclaim. Now, Emma Ruth Rundle will embark on a North American tour as a special guest to Alcest for four weeks in September and October - check out the tour routing below.
Emma Ruth Rundle started performing her work in 2007 and the following year, she was drafted into the monolithic post-rock supergroup Red Sparowes. Touring the world playing the Sparowes’ epic brand of instrumental heaviosity sparked a fruitful musical connection with fellow Sparowes guitarist Greg Burns. When that band commenced a well-deserved hiatus in 2011, she and Burns (on the invitation of Russian Circles), instigated a new group, Marriages, who released a stunning debut mini-album, Kitsune. Meanwhile, Rundle and friends reconvened briefly in 2011, while solo she recorded an album of experimental guitar compositions. What followed was a “dark, difficult time”, and with that, in May of 2014 Some Heavy Ocean was released on Sargent House. The album has been hailed as "stunning" by the AV Club, "intense, hypnotic folk" by Stereogum and "one of the best records of 2014" by Music & Riots.
This past April, Emma Ruth Rundle and her band Marriages released Salome, a 9-song monolith that was hailed as "immediate, but also timeless" by Stereogum. Propulsive, frequently iridescent, the compositions on Salome are confident and evocative, the sound of a band focusing their strengths to great effect. Throwing open the curtains on not only their sound but on their songwriting as well, Emma Ruth Rundle alongside members Burns and new drummer Andrew Clinco seem perfectly at ease scaling anthemic peaks and heartbreaking valleys, often in a single composition. Salome finds Marriages fully embracing their skill at crafting timeless songs with chillingly epic results. Marriages just completed a full U.S. headlining tour, and prior to that, a European tour where they received rave reviews from performances at Roadburn Festival as well as the following three weeks as support to Wovenhand.
Jess And The Ancient Ones… Is it necessary to say something more about this band? This occult psychedelic rock outfit has earned a proper reputation through five years of activity, and all we could expect from them is another proper record as they have only one self-titled full length Lp till now (and a handful of smaller releases). My personal reason for this interview is forthcoming gig of Jess And The Ancient Ones in Moscow, but from this interview with Thomas Corpse (guitars) you also could learn few things about forthcoming second album of the band which will be available really soon.
Hail Thomas! How are you? What's state of Jess and the Ancient Ones at this moment?
Hi there! I’m doing just fine and dandy, thanks for asking! We’re waiting for the album artwork to be completed, and at the same time we are preparing for the coming shows. The summer was insanely busy, but it’s all been worth it. “Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes” is now ready to be pressed, and it’s sounding sweet, hahah!
You'll play in Russia on September 25th, do you already have a set-list for this gig? Will our listeners get new exclusive tunes from the band?
Indeed we do have the set-list already planned. It will be a nice cut through all of our releases, and there are three songs from the upcoming album as well. One of them we never have played before, so Moscow will thence be the first and the magical!
Jess and the Ancient Ones have released last record "Castaneda" in 2014, it is Ep with two songs. What does attract you in teaching of Don Juan?
Welcome Kamille Sharapodinov, the mastermind of Russian psychedelic doom rock project The Grand Astoria. He’s only constant member of this outfit and it doesn’t stop him from doing month-longs tours with new line-ups or do two records per year with different sound and conception. The core of his ever changing work is deep love to psych, prog and doom rock traditions of the past, but it would be boring when you have nothing to add to legacy of Old Ones. About two months ago Kamille has released a new child of his experiments - epic doom thing “The Mighty Few”, let’s try to understand what kind of force did drive his hands this time to work in this direction and compose this soundtrack to story of Doom, Death and Damnation.
Hi Kamille! Man, I see that The Grand Astoria new album "The Mighty Few" already has a damned lot of positive reviews, how have you gained such result? How much do you pay to all these people?
Hello Alex! It’s very easy; I just totally controlled everything this time and have made all the promotion myself. I’ve sent a shitload of packages with CDs for reviews and have plans to send at least 20 more in the near future, it just the question of money. We worked really hard recording these songs so I just don’t want them to sink into the black hole. I know that this music deserves a good attention and just needs to be heard.
What’s about album’s distribution in this case? I remember that usually you work with German label Setalight Records; do you work this time on your own?
Setalight are good friends of ours and they are selling this new album via iTunes and other electronic stores. American distro Laser CD got some copies for their shop so all the US citizen can easily get it there. Swedish Ozium Records also ordered something so the things are moving and we are selling this album more than the all previous ones.
Moonbow was born on dark night in forsaken barn somewhere in Kentucky. That was a bloody fateful night and four acolytes of doom did gather there to do that must be done. Matt Bischoff (vocals), Ryan McAllister (bass) from Velley of the Sun band, Steve Earle (drums) and David McElfresh (guitars) of Lethal band… They weren’t novices in this discipline and first Moonbow album “The End of Time” was really good, two years have passed since then and the band returns with new work “Volto Del Demone” / “Face of the Demon”. I’ve got in touch with David McElfresh himself through Ouija board (and internet).
Hail David! I’m glad that we have a chance to tell our readers story of Moonbow, but hell – you’re already finishing new record! What will it be?
Hey man, the new one is called “Volto Del Demone”. Its an acoustic/mellow album of sorts.
We freely can determine Moonbow’s first album “The End of Time” as flawless and attractive album; and you did record it for a few years, did you consciously seek for absolutely perfect result or is it only because you were busy with other projects?
There were many things going on after we started recording the album. I was touring with Hank 3 a good bit last summer and our bassist Ryan did some touring with Valley of the Sun. And there were many different other factors that made this album happen over a lengthy spread of time but not as much actual time was spent working on the album as one may think. But over all we are happy with the album and always looking forward tho getting it to the people and what to record next.
How do you fasten your achievements from “The End of Time” on forthcoming record?
I feel that “End of Time” gave us a great introduction to the underground rock/stoner world and we are very grateful for that. Hopefully those same fans will dig this new one!
One of best album’s song “The End Of Time” starts with country style intro, yet I see that you do not abuse that extravagant musical gem in other tracks. Do you see necessity to be original, catchy band at all?
I love good “hooks” in songs for sure. I also love bizarre music that never repeats itself. But as far as this new album “Volto Del Demone” uses the fiddle in several instances
Black Oath has started their career in catacombs of Milan in 2005. Since then the band constantly practices in musical witchcraft performing the best they can in a form of traditional doom music telling morbid stories of blood, damnation and black magic researches. Right now Black Oath have new full length release “To Below And Beyond” on hands. I’ve heard their new song “Wicked Queen” and a whole album promises a lot of great infernal tunes. So it seemed right to me to invoke Black Oath mastermind A.th (vocals, guitars) and discuss with him latest band’s news.
Hell and damnation! Salute A.th! How are you? How is Black Oath?
Hello again. BLACK OATH is stronger than ever before and we are planning the return with a new great album, new merch and cursed live apparitions..
Black Oath got rid of Paul V., as I did an interview with him two years ago… I need to ask - where did you dig his body?
Due to lack of attitude and dedication he is no more part of the band.. We all are glad about his decision to leave and finally we have a strong line up with real musicians! Beside vocals, i took bass and we found another guitarist (already in TERRORSAW line) .. At the moment things couldn't be better.. I will never let someone else ruin my band.. B.O. Is not a fairytale but a terrifying nightmare, an horror movie and i am the director!
A week ago I've seen news that Black Oath returns to it's congregation with new tunes of dark and occult under the name “To Below And Beyond”. Will new stuff songs continue same conception you have on other records?
Of course, it wouldn't be Black Oath otherwise. The concept behind the band is the same even if music evolved and became much more mature. We worked a lot on every single track and we made a hell of an album !For the first time in almost ten years i can say i am 100%satisfied and would not change anything on it ! We are ready to lead you below and beyond.
So we can suppose that Black Oath will show their best with sinister traditional doom featuring melodic tunes and clean vocals, isn’t it?
Oh yes, be ready to listen our most intense work… everything improved on the album and we are very excited to hear the reaction of our supporters..
Black Oath have released single “Wicked Queen” in anticipation of “To Below And Beyond”. What kind of songs does this record consist of?
The single is part of a concept album.. An alchemic and deep research ,which is needed to reach highest levels of spirituality.. I made a sort of story with as final result the fall of men.. There's a sentence in the booklet of the album which represent the perfect concept of the whole work.. I will let you find it by yourselves.