Friday, July 30, 2010

Split: Ancestors / Graveyard

Here is a split single by Tee Pee label mates Ancestors and Graveyard. Ancestors are a band that I'm really into (especially at the moment) becuase of their experimental, heavy, psychedelic and sometimes very unexpected sound. Their track on this split is called "Antler Wings" and offers up upbeat rock, psychedelic organs and down-tuned, doom ridden heaviness all in one mindfuck of a song. I'm also really into Graveyard becuase of their amazing emulation of 70's heavy rock, and this includes a live version of their track "As the Years Pass By, The Hours Bend". All in all this is fairly perfect for a split 7" and definitely worth your time. Another gem from the Volcom singles club.

1. Antler Wings (Ancestors)
2. As the Years Pass by, The Hours Bend (Graveyard)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Album: Examination Of The... - "The Whitest of Elephants"

While I'm talking about underrated records from 2003- 2004, I may as well post this too. What happens when a dirty, chaotic hardcore band from the early 2000's decides to slow things right down? "The Whitest of Elephants" happens. There's obviously a huge Neurosis influence here, but there are enough other influences present that allow the band to stand on their own. They simply take all the right cues and make them their own, resulting in something quite unique. The vocals are gruff and gnarly, the riffs are thick, heavy, and really creative, the atmosphere is dense and urgent... What more do you need? One of my favorite things on this record is actually the drumming though, which is just played with so much energy it's hard to ignore. Again, sludge fans, take note.

1. Kicking A Dead Horse Aside
2. To Anacreon In Heaven
3. Resurrecting Stones
4. The Whitest of Elephants

Download: "The Whitest of Elephants"

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Album: Men In Search Of The Perfect Weapon

Here is the only full length from this sadly defunct German band, released in 2004. Expect some heavy, heavy, heavy sludge metal. The songwriting on this album is top notch. When the riffs start moving into a bit more melodic direction isntead of simply pummeling you, they still manage to be equally as crushing, and I think that's is a pretty great quality. There are a lot of great riffs here. And while not entirely accurate, parts of this bring to mind "The Red Sea" era Isis, so that should get you in the ballpark of what you're getting yourself into. Sludge fans beware: Bangovers may occur.
Give it a shot.

1. Hatred
2. Spirit Disease
3. Downward Spiral
4. Saguaro
5. Fall For Your Creation
6. The Last Nail
7. Atacama Rain

Download: "S/T"

Live Recording: Mark Lanegan - Seattle 5th Avenue Theater, July 28 1995

Well, today is a pretty special day for Ritual Room (and a pretty uneventful day for the rest of the world)... our first birthday! Since today is July 28th, here's a cool live Mark Lanegan recording from July 28th 1995 when he opened for Johnny Cash. I'm not sure exactly who to thank for this recording, but it has some killer tracks so enjoy - maybe on our second birthday I'll post something even more mindblowing. ...Maybe that comment was just to entice you to keep reading.

1. Carnival
2. House a Home
3. Ugly Sunday
4. Winding Sheet
5. Undertow
6. She's Not For You
8. Mockingbirds
9. Go Your Way, My Love
10. Borracho

Monday, July 26, 2010

Album: Scott Kelly - "The Wake"

If you don't know who Scott Kelly is, what are you doing here??? Needless to say, this album is heavy. Maybe not in the way you're expecting though. Forget the loud guitars and booming tribal precussion that you might expect from the frontman of Neurosis, instead you'll find just a man and his acoustic guitar playing folk music. Nothing more, nothing less. The songs here are very dark and bare, not unlike recent Neurosis records where the space in between the notes is just as important as the notes themselves. Kelly's voice is deep, coarse and soulful, and along with his simplistic playing, he creates more atmosphere and shows more conviction than most artists could ever hope to. Desolate, barren, intimate. Lose yourself in The Wake. Read more and buy it here.

1. The Ladder In My Blood
2. Figures
3. Saturn's Eye
4. The Searcher
5. Catholic Blood
6. In My World
7. Remember Me

Download: "The Wake"

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Album: Room Nine - "Voices... Of A Summer's Day"

By special request, here's an album by another one of those North Western groups that existed before all the 90's hype (i know what you're thinking... it's amazing that such bands even existed in the NW).

The band is scene legends Room Nine, and the members went on to form bands like Love Battery and the Chemistry Set. This is their only full length titled "Voices... Of A Summer's Day" which was released in 1987 and is dripping with psychedelia and chilled-out, rocking vibes with a nice hint of 80's new wave influence and a killer, spaced out groove. This is extremely hard to get ahold of so enjoy... and if this grabs your interest, members of this band are back with a new group called Down With People that you can check out here.

1. Circus Floor
2. Revolving Door
3. Don't Look Back
4. Red Dog
5. 1000 Years
6. The Thorn
7. Mirage
8. Seas Without a Shore
9. White Summer

Friday, July 23, 2010

Feature: Black Sleep of Kali

I haven't written a feature in a while, but there have been a few events that have forced this band to my attention as of late and so I feel the need to rave about them a bit.

What events, you say? Well, a couple of weeks ago I read about Black Sleep of Kali on the Small Stone website, boasting their sound as "a 200 ton monolith emanating riffs of doom causing all who approach it to bang their heads into epic rock oblivion." Obviously my attention was grabbed, and so I got ahold of their first self-titled effort and jammed it out, then a week or so later serendipitously received an e-mail from Black Sleep of Kali urging me to check out their band (done and done!), along with a copy of their upcoming Small Stone release, "Our Slow Decay," which will be released on August 24th on the label.

After listening to "Our Slow Decay", I can safely say... this is a band that deserves your attention. This is a truly addictive release, and kind of sounds something like an unholy lovechild of Isis and Big Business - massive riffs, rocking catchiness and post-metal aesthetics and influence minus the monotony that can sometimes come with it. The other thing I love about this band? The fact that they came about thanks to a classified ad on the message boards. I can safely say (without a hint of sarcasm) that coming to learn this fact has made me respect BSOK even more - commitment and music nerdery always makes for the best written tunes. I'm not going to be a spoilsport by leaking this since it's not out for another month, but mark your calendars and keep an eye out for this band... and in the meantime, hit up their myspace and listen to some of their tracks, including a rager from their upcoming release called "The Crow and the Snake".

Links of interest:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Split: Melvins / Isis

Oh hey, remember when I was making all those posts anticipating this split a while ago? Well, finally, here are some MP3s of the Melvins / Isis split 12" that was released on Hydra Head recently. As you may know, Isis are no more so take advantage of this (and some alternate tracks from the newest Melvins release!) while you can.

1. Pig House (alternate version) (Melvins)
2. I'll Finish You Off (alternate version) (Melvins)
3. Way Through Woven Branches
4. The Pliable Foe

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Demo: Megaton Leviathan

Woah. I'd always hear about this band playing shows around the NW, but for some reason I never got around to checking them out. It wasn't until today when cruising through Scott Kelly's most recent Combat Music show that I actually heard them, and I was pleasantly surprised. Megaton Leviathan play really dreamy and hypnotic, ethereal and psychedelic, somewhat doomed out rock and I wasn't really expecting this at all. The closest thing I would compare this to is maybe Across Tundras, or a dreamier U.S. Christmas. I guess they're working on a full-length right now which will feature a couple songs from this demo, so look forward to that. I'll definitely have to pay more attention to them now. Vibe hard, enjoy and support!

1. Water, Wealth, Hell On Earth
2. Guns And LSD
3. Repeating Patterns of Love
4. Time Fades
5. Turlock

DL: "Megaton Leviathan demo"

Monday, July 19, 2010

Album: Rainbow - "Rising"

After his Doo-Wop career, and before teaming up with Black Sabbath, Ronnie James Dio was the frontman of Ritchie Blackmore's (Deep Purple) Rainbow. So in case you couldn't figure it out on your own, get in the mood for some seriously grooving 70's hard rock. This classic record was released in 1976. Stargazer might be the greatest song of all time.


1. Tarot Woman
2. Run With The Wolf
3. Starstruck
4. Do You Close Your Eyes
5. Stargazer
6. A Light In The Black

DL: "Rainbow - Rising"

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Live Recording: Melvins - 4.15.00 - Chicago,IL

because there's no such thing as too much melvins

and if someone tells you any smack them...i don't care if it's your gramma

but your gramma would never say such a thing

so're just slapping around some elderly person

set 1:
1 - intro
2 - tequila*
3 - okie from muskogee**
4 - sking horse (second half)
5 - up the dumper
6 - tipping the lion
7 - berthas
8 - promise me***
9 - lone rose holding now
10 - now i'm here
11 - blockbuster****
12 - smells like teen spirit*****

*=the champs cover
**=merle haggard cover
***=gun club cover
****=the jesus lizard cover w/david yow on vocals
*****=nirvana cover w/david yow on vocals

DL: set 1

set 2:
1 - (noise)
2 - wispy
3 - we reach
4 - revolve
5 - night goat (intro)
6 - cherub*
7 - the bit (intro)
8 - manky
9 - it's shoved
10 - adolescent wet dream**
11 - with yo heart,not yo hands***
12 - leech
13 - lovely butterfly
14 - zodiac
15 - let it all be
16 - let god be your gardener (intro)
17 - with teeth
18 - amazon
20 - shevil

*=butthole surfers cover
**=pussy galore cover
***=malfunkshun cover

DL: set 2

EP: Icky Joey - "Marron, Marron"

Well, I might as well post this one too since Icky Joey is probably my favorite thing to listen to at the moment. See my rambling post below to learn more about this band. Here is their EP called "Marron, Marron" which includes a few tracks from their full length as well as a track called "Marron, Marron". (Obviously you can just grab most of these tracks from their full length if you so choose but, you know, I'm a completest and figure that other people out there will be as well.)

1. Marron, Marron
2. Liberace
3. Zara
4. I'll Love You There

Album: Icky Joey - "Pooh"

Here's something cool... the only full length released by Icky Joey -a side project of the legendary Ed Fotheringham (The Thrown Ups) and Jason Finn/Jason Tillman (both of Love Battery). David Lipe and David Rott are also included in this group, and this album is called "Pooh". This release basically gives you the psychedelic style of Love Battery combined with the gritty attitude of the Thrown Ups, with everything from lazy, angry tracks to frantic, punk-tinged ones. Even though this could easily be an AmRep release, Icky Joey were purely a C/Z band (the modest yet possibly most important label for alternative rock music of the 90s in terms of getting the ball rolling) and this was released in 1993 on the label. (Hey, Daniel!)

What you're pretty much getting from Icky Joey is a hefty dose of early 90s Seattle sound, a nice helping of noise rock and a generous sprinkling of wonderful wierdness. I would definitely consider this one a hidden gem since, after all, it's a supergroup consisting of members of bands that weren't that high profile to begin with.

1. Zara
2. I See You
3. You Are the World
4. Bone of Contention
5. Dog Lady
6. Fat
7. Burnout
8. Smokin' The Devil's Bud
9. Total Catharsis
10. Medusa Anus Eye
11. I'll Love You There
12. I'm Liberace Now
13. King of Pinch and Roll

**DL link taken down upon label's request. Buy this album on iTunes here or download the Marron, Marron EP on this blog if you like what you've read***

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Single: Sub Pop Edition #18 Nirvana - "Love Buzz / Big Cheese"

I guess this one was a long time coming. This is the first single ever released on the Sub Pop singles club - the infamous Nirvana "Love Buzz / Big Cheese" single. As a reader of this blog I'm not going to insult your intelligence going too far into this one, but if you don't feel like shelling out 2 grand for your own copy of this you might as well give this a download.

1. Love Buzz
2. Big Cheese

Friday, July 16, 2010

Album: Corrupted - "El Mundo Frio"

"El Mundo Frio" is absolutely massive (like, a single 71 minute compositon massive). Translating to "The Cold World", it conjures exactly those kinds of images and emotions. Corrupted are definitely not afraid not take their time, and each section of this peice is meticulously arranged to build-up slowly, and flow seamlessly into the next part. Nothing overstays it's welcome either. While this may sound somewhat commonplace these days, trust me, "El Mundo Frio" goes above and beyond all cliches. There is nothing else like this.

Expect to hear: Relaxing and melancholy ambience, building into clean guitar passages which don't feel like forced "post-rock" build-ups like everyone else started doing. Gruff and hoarse spoken word passages. Crushing sludge/doom metal riffs that plod along with earth-shaking force (file under: 2nd heaviest thing in the world). Harp (???!). More devastatingly heavy riffs. etc. etc. etc.

Honestly, anything I write about this masterpeice is going to be completely inadequate, so you should probably just hear it and let the music tell the story itself (But be patient!). The composition and the atmosphere it creates is profound, and incredibly moving.

This is music of the highest caliber.

DL: "El Mundo Frio"

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

EP: Lubricated Goat - "Schadenfreude"

Here's more noise rock madness from the twisted and evil Aussie band Lubricated Goat. This is their follow up to "Paddock of Love", an EP titled "Schadenfreude". This EP is fully incredible and oozes with sinister groove, twisted sarcasm and probably the most "metal" instrumental style I've ever heard from the Goat. Actually, some of the riffing here recalls the Melvins (Stag era... maybe it's just that "The Bit"-esque riff at the beginning of "Melting."), although Lubricated Goat is a beast of it's own breed. So build a barricade, lock it all out, spit it out... SHUT YOUR MIND. (And listen to this EP. ...I'm so sorry for that.)

1. Shut Your Mind
2. Prayer For Blood
3. Magumbo Head
4. The Hunt Is Better Than The Kill
5. Toys
6. Melting

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Album: Earth - Sunn Amps And Smashed Guitars

this is some of that heavy/noisy/sludgy type music mentioned over to your right

i'm assuming that seeing as how you're a follower of this know who this band is...and if you don't...why are you here?

not only is earth the very planet you live on (or visit while you're coming off that nyQuil smoothie)...but the band sunn o))) took their name from the amplifiers the band uses (and you could actually convince some folks that they were listening to sunn o)) while playing some of earth's earlier recordings)

this was originally released back in 1995 as a 1 song live album...but was re-released in 2001 along with some demos that were recorded back in 1990 (some guy named kurt cobain and vocalist for the band dickless kelly canary show up on the song "divine and bright")

that's right...there was a band called dickless...get all the giggles out of the way

moving on

so do yourself a favor and try to pull the wool over the eyes of your sunn o))) worshiping friends by slapping this on while saying "bro...i totally just found some rare unreleased stuff"

and while you're at it...hunt some stuff down by the band wool (start here)

DL: sunn amps and broken guitars

Album: Thou - "Summit"

How many doom records start off with a blastbeat?? Disregard my previous Thou post entirely, this is the best thing they've done. The band is really starting to turn into their own beast, and from a riff and songwriting perspective they really took it to the next level with this one. I really love how melodic and atmospheric it is, without ever relying on subtle electronics or post-rock build-ups to acheieve that effect. It's just that powerful. And the best part is, it's absolutely crushing at the same time. Fans of honest, creative and heavy music take note. This one really resonates with me.

1. By Endurance We Conquer
2. Grissecon
3. Prometheus
4. Another World Is Inevitable
5. Summit Revisited
6. Voices In The Wilderness

DL: "Summit"

Monday, July 12, 2010

Split: VALIS / Kitty Kitty

This is the first thing ever released by Van Conner's own psychedelic/heavy rock project, VALIS - a split with (Van's brother) Patrick Conner's project, Kitty Kitty. There must have been some kinds of psychedelics in the water at the Conner house becuase this split offers up some really trippy tunes that are super rocking and enjoyable. You get 4 tracks from each band, and although the Kitty Kitty tracks are good, the VALIS tracks are what really shine for me on this split; actually, this showcases VALIS in their prime supergroup days and these songs feature none other than Kurt Danielson (Tad) and Dan Peters (Mudhoney). This split was released in 1998 on Man's Ruin Records.

1. Venus in Red (VALIS)
2. You Disturb Me (VALIS)
3. Rendering Machine (VALIS)
4. The Borders of Solitude (VALIS)
5. Friday's Done (Kitty Kitty)
6. The Kids Are Upset (Kitty Kitty)
7. Ab Tokeless (Kitty Kitty)
8. Chunks (Kitty Kitty)

DL: "Valis / Kitty Kitty Split"

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Album: Buried At Sea - "Migration"

This is the heaviest thing in the world.

1. Migration pt. I
2. Migration pt. II
3. Migration pt. III

DL: "Migration"

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Demos: Pentagram

I'm now really pleased to present you all with some Pentagram demos from the early 70s. This is a really cool listen for many reasons, one of which being that these were released around the same time as Black Sabbath's self titled and so I can safely say these are some of the earliest roots of doom metal, and I guess just metal in general. This is definitely a hidden gem and all and all these are some really cool, raw demos from a legendary and iconic band, so listen away and for god's sake... enjoy!

1. Virgin Death
2. Yes I Do
3. I'm A Man
4. Catwalk
5. Downhill Slope
6. Ask No More
7. Die in Your Sleep
8. Loser
9. Target
10. Review Your Choices

Friday, July 9, 2010

EP: Thou - "We Pass Like Night, From Land To Land"

Thou is starting to make some pretty big waves now, and with good reason. Their brand of dark and soulful NOLA inspired doom coupled with well-written, thoughtful lyrics definitely got me on the bandwagon pretty quickly. And while I've really enjoyed both of their LP's so far, this little EP (split with Leech) is probably the best material I've heard from them. It might just be due to the production though. I felt like the production on the albums was just a little bit restrained, like there was all this huge distortion just wanting to be unleashed, but here everything is as dirty and massive sounding as you could hope for. It seems like their newer recordings are heading that direction too, so keep an eye out. This is definitely a band to be stoked on. Here you get two pummeling, devastatingly heavy doom tracks surrounded by an acoustic intro and a pretty cool outro piece. And if this catches your interest, everything they've done is available for free on their website, so check it out, and give them support.

"We are not safe."

1. Unmasked
2. Here I Stand, Head In Hand
3. Rats and Mice and Swarms of Lice
4. The Defeatist's Lament

DL: "We Pass Like Night, From Land To Land"

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Album: Asva - What You Don't Know Is Frontier

this is some massive music

i'm not going to go into why you need to download this

i'm just going to mention some bands that members (past and present) are involved in...and then you can make the call:

sunn o)))
kayo dot
blessing the hogs
mr. bungle

and right about now...your finger should be allowing the little pointer thing to be hovering over the links down yonder...

just do what comes natural

there you go

all is well

DL: pt.1
DL: pt.2

Split: The Sword / Witchcraft

Here is a split from two 70's metal-worshipping groups who each offer up very different expressions of their adoration. First up are 2 tracks by the Sword who offer up a more modern metal take on their Sabbath emulation (and includes an interesting cover of "Immigrant Song"), while the 3 finishing tracks by Witchcraft could have easily stood beside Pentagram and Black Sabbath in the 70s.

1. Sea of Spears (The Sword)
2. Immigrant Song (The Sword)
3. You Bury Your Head (Witchcraft)
4. Queen of Bees (Witchcraft)
5. Sorrow Evoker (Witchcraft)

Live Recording: Bongzilla - Live From The Relapse Contamination Festival

maybe i'm just trying to fit in

maybe the previously posted bongzilla album was a gateway posting

so here's some more

what you get here is the band playing the relapse contamination festival back in '03 (in case you hadn't already put that together for yourself)

what's always amazed me about this band is the fact that they can be both sludgy AND precise in their playing

i once convinced someone that this band was eyehategod

1 - gateway
2 - stone a pig
3 - hashdealer
4 - keefmaster

DL: bongzilla@relapse contamination festival

Album: Bongzilla - "Gateway"

It finally feels like summer, so I'll refrain from posting something completely miserable. Instead, you get this Bongzilla record which used to get blasted a lot while cruising through the suburbs in the midsummer heat. I got pretty tired of generic marijuana-themed bands like this pretty quickly, but for some reason Bongzilla stuck around. For a band compromised of what I assume to be nothing but burnouts and stoners, there are a surprising amount of really good riffs here, along with some pretty cool structures. What I mean to say is, Bongzilla know how to write a seriously rocking song. The guitar tone is huge and fuzzed out, the vocals are piercing and brutal, drums do their job... this is just a satisfyingly heavy, and really fun piece of sludgy psychedelia. Get high on the riff.

1. Greenthumb
2. Stone A Pig
3. Sunnshine Green
4. 666lb. Bongsession
5. Trinity (Gigglebush)
6. Gateway
7. Keefmaster
8. Hashdealer

DL: "Gateway"

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Album: Dead Meadow - "Howls From The Hills"

Why haven't I posted any Dead Meadow material here yet? Lord only knows since I'm really into this band and their style of chilled out, bluesy psych-rock. This is their 2001 album titled "Howls From the Hills" that, like most of their material, is dreamy and almost literally hypnotic but with a spacey, heavy edge to it that will shake you out of the trance it will almost inevitably put you in. This is just sleepy psychedelia at it's finest and I really can't uptalk the brilliant creativity and good vibes coming from this band enough.

In other Dead Meadow related news, (their vocalist) Jason Simon is releasing a solo album on Tee Pee Records this September.

1. Drifting Down Streams
2. Dusty Nothing
3. Jusiamere Farm
4. The White Worm
5. The One I Don't Know
6. Everything's Goin' On
7. One And Old
8. The Breeze Always Blows

Monday, July 5, 2010

Album: Unnatural Helpers - "Cracked Love & Other Drugs"

Well, first of all, I don't want to be one of those blog writers that is always apoligising for lack of posts (and then continuing not to post) but I seriously do apoligise for the lack of posts lately. Half of the Ritual Room team was away on a little "business trip" which was very serious business indeed and consisted of seeing the Melvins (twice), Dinosaur Jr and a lot of other bands. But I digress. Here is an album by an up and coming Sub Pop band that I have been really into. I have never really used the term "garage rock" to describe a band, but I will for Unnatural Helpers and this is their newest release titled "Cracked Love and Other Drugs" which, despite being released in 2010, recalls the glory days of Sub Pop. This is really messy, guitar heavy, frantic and to-the-point rock, and even though this album consists of 15 songs it only clocks in at a little under a half hour.

1. I Don’t Belong To You
2. Sunshine / Pretty Girls
3. Brave Dumb Face
4. Brainstroke
5. Girl In The Window
6. Our Most Entitled
7. Claim It Mine
8. She Was Your Girlfriend
9. Head Collector
10. Vox Humana
11. Useful Things
12. Wayward Eve
13. The Truth About You
14. Tell Me That You Wanna
15. Every Record Straight Tonight