Taking a first glance at Alunah it’s easy to end up doing a double take to make sure it isn’t a photo of Fleetwood Mac circa ’75 or something but it isn’t. Any similarities from the band’s photo are completely washed away as Alunah start playing. Their doom laden brand of psychedelic rock immediately reminded me of Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats the doom version. They have released the first single and video for Heavy Bough and though it is my first time hearing Alunah, based on this, it won’t be my last. I’ve got a little catching up to do as this is off their upcoming third release. Take a listen to Alunah yourself then get all the pre-order deets. Just a note on the vid, it would appear that demons should not do shrooms or maybe I’m wrong since he manages to stumble into Alunah’s jam session and take possession of their lovely lead lady!
Hailing from Stockholm, gloomy metal outfit AVATARIUM was founded in late 2012. Following the success of their eponymous debut, released November 1st 2013 and the first ever single ‘Moonhorse’, released September 20th of the same year, AVATARIUM have just announced the release of their new EP ‘All I Want’. The vinyl/digital only EP will be out November 17th via Nuclear Blast.
Mid 2013, just eight months into the bands’ history, the word was spreading rapidly about their special blend of heavy adventurous music: Influenced by the likes of JETHRO TULL, BLUE ÖYSTER CULT, BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW, adding the peaks of pop and 60’s vibes, AVATARIUM deliver some delicate moments of beauty and frailness rarely to be found in a band these days.
by Louis Hauguel
OccultRock.com: First of all, thank you Michelle for accepting this interview, we're delighted to have you here! So lot of exciting things are going on with the release of Death Penalty's debut album on Rise Above Records and your other band Bathsheba had a four songs demo streamed and an official video!
Let's talk about Death Penalty first, what's the story behind the name, how did you come up working with Gaz Jennings (ex-Cathedral)?
Michelle Nocon: Thank you for having me. Basically loads of material we recorded was already written way before there was any plan of really starting a band. When Cathedral ended Gaz found the time to rework all those riffs into songs and make new riffs. Previous year Lee contacted me asking if I would be interested in singing on Gaz record. Gaz didn’t have facebook so he contacted me through Lee. I passed on my mail address but didn’t really expect to hear anything from it. You can understand I was surprised when I got an email from him asking me if I wanted to sing on his album. In this mail he included 14 tracks. And he soon send another one in which he included another 8 more. I was chuffed! But I told him that I wanted to listen to the tracks first before sending him an answer. If someone like Gaz wants you to jump in, of course you want to do it. But I wanted to do it because I loved the music. So I listened to the first track, which is now the opening song from the album and I remember I was thinking that it sounds cool but I wanted to do sludge black. I was already in Bathsheba and you only have so much energy that you can’t be in 5 bands so I didn’t want to make a wrong decision. If I do something I want to give my all. So meaning if I would agree to do this, there wouldn’t be much time for the sludge black project I wanted. But when I listened to the first track, there was this melodic piece in the middle. Jezus, the feeling I got when I heard it was just so intense… I mailed him immediately to tell him I’m in. Luckily after listening I also liked the other songs or I would’ve had a problem haha.
It’s no secret that Gaz is a Witchfinder General fan and well… there you go for the band name!
OccultRock.com: What are the current plans for Death Penalty, can we expect the band going on tour soon?
OccultRock.com: What kind of themes are you exploring with Death Penalty, how's the writing process working for you?
WE LEAD THE PROCESSION
TERROR FROM HELL RECORDS/HORROR RECORDSBY EERIE ERIC
These days, more than ever, doom metal has become an interesting aspect of the heavy music culture. It has enjoyed quite a resurgence in the past decade and has since spidered into many sub-sub genres. Traditional doom. Stoner doom. Gothic doom. Funeral doom. It goes on and on. It goes without saying that bands like Ghost and Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, both of whom have taken this time honored tradition into the mainstream by way of their pop sensibilities and mass promotion, have helped turn many a head towards this dark and downtrodden sound. In doing so they have also invigorated a lot of interest in the classic groups of the genre, (Saint Vitus, Pagan Altar, Trouble, Cathedral, just to name a few.) As is the case when any beloved tradition gains a little notoriety outside of its grassroots sanctum, there comes a time when the diehards long for a band who will separate true fans from casual listeners. A band like Abysmal Grief, who have been in existence since the late ‘90s, may not be viewed as the quintessential doom band, but they are definitely one that is perfectly suited for genre diehards. In short, it is highly unlikely these Italian doomsters will be called poseurs by anyone anytime soon.
SLEEP OF MONSTERS
SVART RECORDSBY BAT SALAD
Many people are familiar with the fantastic 90's occult rock/deathrock band, Babylon Whores and their crooning front man Ike Vil. However if you live outside of Finland you may not know that in 2012 he put together a new band, Sleep of Monsters. Until now, the band's debut album, 'Produces Reason' has only been available in Finland. Svart Records this month is changing that and the world is a better place for it.
We cover lots of styles of music here on OccultRock.com and that's what's beautiful about it. It's just pretty much anything with darker themes but no real specific musical style. Anything from the lowest down tuned doom to neo psychedelic to gothic rock.. folk... whatever as long as it has a special dark vibe. As a listener and music fan though it seems too many bands have abandoned hooks and strong choruses these days. It's like many of them had a meeting and decided it was passé to have any sort of traditional song structure. Don't get me wrong though.. I love most of that stuff but it's always a breath of fresh air when something comes in and says 'fuck you...I'm writing good melodic songs and don't care what you think'. This is the case with Sleep of Monsters!
Witch Mountain have been in the news quite a bit lately first they announced their fourth full length album, Mobile of Angels, then shortly after that they announced lead singer Uta Plotkin will be leaving the band after they finish their current tour with Nik Turner’s Hawkwind which ends just two days before the album comes out on September 30th fantastic from what I’ve heard so far, possibly their best. So perhaps it’s time for what the band just does best: play fantastic doomy hard rock jams. With that in mind, here is a full live set from Witch Mountain from Webster’s Hall in NYC on 9/11 this past Thursday.
The album seems utterly fantastic from what I’ve heard so far, possibly their best. So perhaps it’s time for what the band just does best: play fantastic doomy hard rock jams. With that in mind, here is a full live set from Witch Mountain from Webster’s Hall in NYC on 9/11 this past Thursday.
Filmed at Pentagram's first ever London show by that coincided with their 40 year anniversary. Pentagram are one of the Pioneers of Doom and formed in 1971. In this insightful 3-part interview with Bobby Liebling and Victor Griffin of Pentagram we hear about wisdom gained on the road, struggling with alcoholism, drug addiction, spirituality and faith.
As well as some fantastic live Pentagram classics filmed at London's Relentless Garage on 9th December 2011.
A three HD camera video has been posted of WINDHAND's full show in Pittsburgh, PA on 09/05/2014 by A Digitallive / Video Nihilism co-production.
Setlist: 00:00 Orchard, 06:20 Woodbine, 15:50 Amaranth, 22:45 Winter Sun, 30:24 Cassock
Watch it below...
Back in April they released their second album titled "Stranded in Arcadia" and today they've released a footage video featuring the song "Join the Race". The video was exclusively made from archive images and edited by long time friend and video director Colin Manierka.
The band will be touring Europe aggressively through the end of the year with support from the doom band Year of No Light. Video and tour dates are posted below.
Here's an excellent documentary on the American southern metal scene. It was uploaded in it's entirety by it's producer Chris Terry a few days ago. OccultRock.com is based in the south so we can certainly vouch for the accuracy of Slow Southern Steel. Anyone who grew up here through the 80's remember the 'satanic panic' which is covered by many of the bands in the movie. It's a shame when I think back to how many great albums were burned in this time of southern hysteria. It's not all about that but... see it for yourself. Starring members/former members of Corrosion of Conformity, Buzzov-en, Sourvein, Weedeater, Goatwhore, Lamb of God, Dark Castle, EyeHateGod, Hank 3, Phil Anselmo and more.