SARGENT HOUSE NEWS

Wovenhand // Marriages Live Review From Le Trabendo in Paris 

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Last Sunday, the city of Paris and Le Trabendo was once again blessed to host yet another evening with David Eugene Edwards and the boys from Alternative Country/folk rock act Wovenhand from Denver, Colorado, on tour promoting their latest record released last year through Glitterhouse and Deathwish Inc. As the evening passed and the start of the show drew nigh, the venue ended up filling up with quite an impressive amount of fans, so I hastily made my purchases at the merch stand before heading into the pit to save myself a good spot.

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Joining these Colorado cowboys on this current tour were another band I had been eagerly waiting to see, the Los Angeles band known as Marriages, featuring one of my favorite female vocalists, Emma Ruth Rundle, whom I got the opportunity to interview before the start of the show. This current tour marked the bands’ first set of European dates, offering fans an opportunity to hear songs off the bands’ debut album Salome, released earlier that week.

The L.A. trio stepped to the stage at 8pm sharp, greeting the audience with a timid and all too humble “Hello, we’re Marriages. We’re gonna be playing some songs then Wovenhand are gonna come on” before getting right to business. The band started off their set with the swelling shoegazy sounds of “Ride In My Place”, the opening track of their debut EP Kitsune, from which only 2 tracks were played, dedicating the rest of the set to the bands’ latest release.
A few moments into the start of the set, my attention was drawn towards the quality of the overall sound, which was arranged and blended into a pretty clear and organic mix. The drum set was set up with a nice, punchy kick tone which blended and locked in nicely with the bass guitar, serving as a solid rhythmic layer on top of which Emma added her shoegazy guitar and her beautiful, emotionally gripping reverb-heavy vocals. There were few instances during which the guitar sections were a tad bit buried by the other instruments, though they did little to undermine the overall quality of the show.

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The setlist also got to showcase the bands’ few readjustments to their sound: whereas the bands’ EP mainly drew  from shoegaze and post-rock, the debut album tones down the linear, compositional formula in favor of more traditional “song” structures, with the addition of subtle hints of metal and influences from Emma’s recent solo work.

Every song was superbly rendered live through the bands’ terrific performance, making for a set full of melancholic, soothing passages gradually swarming up into epic, magnificent sonic tempests. After such a great show, my guess is that we’ve yet to hear the last of Marriages, as we’ll most likely be seeing “Salome” featured on quite a few year-end lists… we’ll just have to wait and see!

After a short intermission, the time had come for the Colorado Cowboys from Wovenhand to come forth to the stage. The lights dimmed down and out came the magnificent 4, with frontman David Eugene Edwards looking as serious as ever, sporting his signature brimmed hat. The set kicked off with the rockin’ riffage of “Good Shepherd” off of the bands’ latest album, Refractory Obdurate, prominently played during the course of the evening. 

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With their latest album, the bands’ sound shifted towards a louder, heavier sound with a more prominent use of distorted guitars, a sound that the quartet decided to adopt for every song on the setlist, old as in new, offering a freshly revised rendition of some older tracks. This came as quite a surprise to me at first, and I was absolutely blown away by how heavy they were compared to their more acoustic-driven studio recordings. The vocals also received a fairly different treatment compared to the studio records, David Eugene Edwards’ deep, soulful voice going through a band-pass filter centered on the medium frequencies to give a strong low-fi radio distortion quality to the sound. Strangely enough, I would say that some of the amped up renditions of the older tracks added an interesting post-punk vibe to the songs, as if Joy Division had gotten into a time machine and landed up in the dusty old’ wild, wild west, at the time of cowboys and Indians.

In terms of overall sound, the mix was absolutely stellar, near-flawless, with yet another thick, punchy kick drum sound combined with an intense bass guitar tone that was both loud and heavy while retaining crystal clarity on each and every note. The guitars and vocals fitted the overall sound impeccably and every instrument stayed intelligible during the entirety of the set.

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Occasionally some of the songs would mark some downtime, with the whole instrumentation taking a step back and leaving the spotlight to frontman David Edwards’ haunting voice and his immense charisma to shine through in its full radiance. Over a steady tambourine beat, the man seemed to grow deeper and deeper into a trance, waving a few hand and head gestures in between guitar strokes like an apache chief, captivating the whole audience with his aura and charisma. I would occasionally wake back to my senses only to realize that 5 full minutes had flown by, having been completely sucked into the frontman’s shamanic trance, channeling the spirits from beyond.

After finishing up their set with the climactic “Salome”, the band returned for an encore with “Glistening black”. Wovenhand then stepped off stage, the lights and P.A music came back on, signaling that this magnificent evening had come to close… Or did it really? While some audience members walked away, a good deal of the front row started cheering for what seemed to be a hopeless plea for yet another encore. 5 minutes went by and finally David Edwards stepped back onto the stage to our great surprise, armed with his antique mandolin, and proceeded to play breathtaking, 13 minute solo cover of Bob Dylan’s’ “As I Went Out One Morning”. A terrific way to end the evening.

As an avid concert-goer, I dare say that I’ve seen quite a number over the years, but nights like these only come around come around rarely. After a performance such as these, one can only leave the show desperate for more from both of these bands. For all of the lucky Hellfest 2015 ticket holders, Wovenhand will be bringing their show to the Valley on Friday. As to Marriages, one can only hope the band comes back quickly for another set of European dates. So far this gig easily reaches my top 3 concerts of 2015.

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Wovenhand and Marriages will be on tour together until the end of April. See all tour // show details HERE.

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all photos by Colin Gentile

(via Two Guys Metal Reviews)

In Conversation: Headstuff chats with No Spill Blood 

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In Heavy Electricity, Dublin synth-metal bruisers No Spill Blood have crafted one of the most sonically-arresting records of 2015.

Claustrophobic and intense, the trio’s full-length debut proper (following 2012’s Street Meat EP) turns promise and potential into a powerhouse wall of delicious dark noise, all without the assist of a traditional guitar. To be fair, they don’t need the six-string. In its place; war drums, guttural howls, beautifully distorted bass tones and, crucially, a vintage synthesizer sound that lends a very specific sense of time and place.

We caught up with Ruadhan O’Meara [pictured above right], the man behind that last particular aspect, to talk Heavy Electricity, horror, the departure of drummer Lar Kaye and guilty pleasures…

There’s a strong classic horror film vibe on Heavy Electricity, especially Goblin’s work on the Suspiria soundtrack and some vintage John Carpenter. Was that something you purposefully set out to evoke?
Yeah, absolutely. We are all obsessed with old movie and TV soundtracks, horror ones in particular. Goblin and John Carpenter would be the obvious ones, along with Popol Vuh, Tangerine Dream, Fabio Frizzi, etc. There’s something about the sustained tension and dreamlike uneasiness that lends itself to heavy music well. Horror and Metal have always been intrinsically linked, down to the musical intervals used, the “Diabolus in Musica” etc.

On that note, do you have any particular favourite film soundtracks? If so, why?

Halloween III definitely stands out to me, as I love the sounds of the old sequential circuits gear used, the unsettling patterns and stabs etc. The Phantasm soundtrack by Myrow and Seagrave is amazing, the main theme in its many variations never fails to upset me. I’m also a big fan of The Shout by Tony Banks and Mick Rutherford. Crazy film, and the music supplied by the two Genesis boys is bonkers and works really well without resorting to regular horror tropes. Sometimes just an awesome selection of tracks works really well, Manhunter being an excellent example. Klaus Schulze, Red 7, Prime Movers etc really set the neon tone for the film, and the genius usage of ‘IN-A-GADDA-DA-VIDA’ blew me away when I saw the film for the first time. Recently there have been a load of great soundtracks to newer genre movies, such as The Duke of Burgundy, It Follows, The Guest, Cold in July, Under the Skin, etc. I always appreciate when there is effective and interesting music used in film, it can really breathe life into an otherwise dull script!

The press release for Heavy Electricity describes “an elemental pilgrimage emerging from the bowels of the earth, only to encounter savage environments, altered states, and the brutal inhumanity of fellow men.” What, if anything specifically, influenced this way of thinking?

Well, the record is designed to flow in a particular manner, and Matt’s lyrics mirror this in certain ways. He usually concocts images and scenarios to reflect the tone of the music and strings a narrative out of them all. Kind of a reverse situation to someone soundtracking a movie I guess!

Lyrically, has Matt ever come up with anything that shocked you?

He’s a deeply, deeply disturbed man – and though what he generally comes out with would be shocking to most, we are well used to it! There’s a synergy there at work.

How do you feel Heavy Electricity differs from Street Meat?

Street Meat being our first effort, was simply a collection of the first songs we wrote. It was also rushed to a degree – we were still in the stages of finding our feet and deciding what we were all about. This time round we definitely had a bit more time to craft and shape the record, along with developing the writing processes we outlined while doing the first ep. We also had a bit more time to experiment, and try some weirder stuff out.

Sonically, things are pretty huge. Production-wise, it feels like you wanted to create a near-claustrophobic atmosphere where listeners find themselves in the same room as the band.

Yeah, the coupling of the heavy mono-synth lines with the bass riffs tend to create a wall of low end.. To counteract this, we really went for a much “roomier” and live drum sound, to lift the kit over the heft. Rian and Scan, who recorded the album, also ran everything through a multitude of different amps at once, the tones of which were blended together as necessary. This really fills up the sound, but as there are a lot of amps pushing air it gives you that live in a room feeling, as opposed to things sounding like they are run straight in to a computer, which we really wanted to avoid.

Are people ever surprised that No Spill Blood don’t feature a traditional guitar?

Constantly! Obviously people just automatically expect a guitar in any heavy set up, but what’s particularly weird is even after seeing us play, some people have asked where the guitar player was hidden on stage, as if they could hear someone playing…

We ran a feature recently discussing the state of guitar music and whether or not it’s dead, dying or stagnant. It’s an argument that continues to crop up even in the face of exciting new music. As a band that eschews that traditional guitar approach, where do you stand on it?

Yeah, it was definitely a move we made, but just because it suited us. It’s not like a major stance or anything. Our initial jams featured guitar, but we thought having synths the whole time would be more interesting. It’s something we may even re-introduce at some stage, in fact we all laid down subtle guitar tracks (feedback, etc) on the record.

The synth sound is quite vintage. Did you employ a bunch of analogue synthesizers or have you perfected one at this point?

We used a tonne of different synths on the record, mostly vintage analogue ones I have acquired over the years. Every old synth has a unique quality of some sort to it. Even though you might have two similar monosynths for example, even the slightest difference in components or architecture can set them apart quite a bit. It was a dream to have all this gear set up in a proper studio, running through amps etc. and be able to select a particular synth for whatever line or effect it suited. Live though, I use a Sequential Pro-One and Six trak. I have used these both from the start with NSB, and I know their ins and outs pretty well at this stage.

Lar Kaye was a key part of the band and he recorded the drums on Heavy Electricity but departed before the album’s release. Was this something you knew in advance of recording? What was your reaction to finding out?

We all kind of knew going in that at some stage his other project ALL TVVINS was going to take off in a big way, and that eventually he would not be able to keep playing in both bands (not to mention Adebisi Shank!). Luckily enough, we got to track and finish off the LP completely before that became an issue. At that point we were all just happy that we got to complete the project. The timing was perfect, really.

Now in his place, what dynamic does Ror Conaty bring to the band?

Ror is an old friend of ours, and a phenomenal drummer. I had played with him in a band a few years back, and was the first person we called when we knew there would be a vacancy on the drum stool. Luckily for us he was well up for it! We didn’t have to spend ages auditioning people or anything. Ror totally gets it, and we were rehearsing within a few days.

How was it touring with Deafheaven?

Great! We did three dates with them, and was the first time we got to see them since Sunbather came out. It was particularly eye-opening to see a band play with that level of tightness and intensity night after night, they totally have it down. I really enjoyed watching them soundcheck, as they would rip in to the mid section of a song but be so precise. Nice bunch of lads too, its always great to play with members of the extended Sargent House clan!

What’s the guiltiest pleasure song on your iPod?

That’s a tough one! There are people that would count stuff like Phil Collins, Prefab Sprout or Michael McDonald as guilty pleasures, but that to me is total insanity! Maybe we are in to some seriously perverse shit, but I guess ‘Good Life’ by Inner City might be one that gets played in the van a lot that might surprise people.

And finally, some word association:

Tidal

Slave to the Moon

Kanye West

Insufferable Git

KISS

‘Magic Touch’ (I fucking LOVE that track)

One Direction

Now Hiring

Vin Diesel

Can’t wait to see him take on the Staths in F&F7

Heavy Electricity is out now via Sargent House

Blis. Sign to Sargent House; Share New Video 

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Atlanta band Blis.  have announced their signing to Sargent House for management and label, along with the release of the video for “Floating Somewhere High and Above” from their debut EP. Watch the video below.

Blis. will record their full length debut for the label this fall. Stream the band’s 4-song EP, Setting Fires In My Parent’s House below the video.


(via New Noise)

Earth adds dates to tour starting May 9th 

Earth hits the road May 9th at Levitation Festival in Austin, kicking off a short run of US shows with support from True Widow. On May 16, they’ll play Psycho California before heading off to Europe. New dates have just been added, and you can see a full list of performances below.

Dylan Carlson of Earth will also be a doing a special debut live collaboration with The Bug at Supersonic Festival, where they will perform Boa / Cold which released on Ninjatune in December 2014.

Info and tickets are available HERE, with a full list of shows below.

May 9 - Austin, TX @ Levitation 2015
May 11 - Albuquerque, NM @ Sister **
May 12 - Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress **
May 13 - Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom **
May 14 - Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy & Harriet’s **
May 16 - Santa Ana, CA @ Psycho California
May 26 - Porto, PT @ Hard Club
May 27 - Lisbon, PT @ Musicbox
May 29 - Barcelona, SP @ Primavera Sound Festival
May 31 - Bristol, UK @ Temples Festival SOLD OUT
Jun 01 - Liverpool, UK @ The Kazimier
Jun 03 - Bergen, NO @ Landmark
Jun 04 - Stavanager, NO @ Folken
Jun 05 - Eindhoven, NL @ Effenaar Grote en Kleine Zaal
Jun 06 - Eindhoven, NL @ Eindhoven Psych Lab
Jun 13 - Bordesley, UK @ Supersonic Festival (The Bug vs Dylan Carlson of Earth ONLY)
Jul 18 - Portland, OR @ Revolution Hall ++

** w/ True Widow
++ w/ Federales

Kerrang! premieres new song by And So I Watch You From Afar, “Redesigned a Million Times” 

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And So I Watch You From Afar are premiering their new track, Redesigned a Million Times, exclusively with Kerrang!.

The track is taken from the Belfast math-rockers’ new full-length, Heirs, which is out on May 4 via Sargent House. Get excited! Stream Redesigned a Million Times below, and let us know what you think in the comments. And be sure to pre-order And So I Watch You From Afar’s new record now on iTunes or Sargent House’s official webstore.

To coincide with the release, the band will be embarking on a huuuuuuge tour throughout the UK and Europe – full dates and ticket info below.

Stream Redesigned a Million Times below:

Apr 15 - Moscow, (RU) @ Teatr Club
Apr 16 - St. Petersburg, (RU) @ Kosmonavt
Apr 17 - Yekaterinburg, (RU) @ Nirvana
Apr 28 - Glasgow, (UK) @ King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut*
Apr 29 - Manchester, (UK) @ Gorilla*
Apr 30 - Bristol, (UK) @ Marble Factory*
May 1 - London, (UK) @ Islington Assembly Hall*
May 2 - Dunkerque, (FR) @ 4ecluses*
May 3 - Luxembourg, (LU) @ Den Atelier*
May 4 - Paris, (FR) @ La Fleche D'Or*
May 6 - Brussels, (BE) @ Vk*
May 7 - Rotterdam, (NL) @ Rotown*
May 8 - Eindhoven, (NL) @ Effenaar*
May 9 - Deventer, (NL) @ BURGERWEESHUIS*
May 10 - Nantes, (FR) @ Le Ferrailleur*
May 11 - Clermont-Ferrand, (FR) @ La Cooperative De Mai*
May 12 - Zurich, (CH) @ Dynamo*
May 13 - Bern, (CH) @ Dachstock, Reitschule*
May 14 - Geneva, (CH) @ Usine*
May 15 - Milan, (IT) @ Leoncavallo*
May 16 - Rome, (IT) @ Traffic Live*
May 17 - Modena, (IT) @ La Tenda*
May 19 - Ljubljana, (SI) @ Kino Siska*
May 20 - Zagreb, (HR) @ Zedno Uho Festival*
May 21 - Budapest, (HU) @ Dürer Kert*
May 22 - Vienna, (AT) @ Arena*
May 23 - Munich, (DE) @ Ampere*
May 25 - Prague, (CZ) @ NoD Teatro*
May 26 - Wiesbaden, (DE) @ Schlachthof*
May 27 - Leipzig, (DE) @ Tåubchental*
May 28 - Berlin, (DE) @ Bi Nuu*
May 29 - Hamburg, (DE) @ Logo*
May 30 - Essen, (DE) @ Zeche Carl*
May 31 - Cologne, (DE) @ Underground*
Jun 1 - Amsterdam, (NL) @ Paradiso*
Jun 19 - Dublin, (IE) @ Olympia
Jun 20 - Belfast, (IE) @ Mandela Hall
Jul 9-11 - Cheltenham, (UK) @ 2000 Trees Festival
Jul 24 - Beelen, (DE) @ Krach Am Bach
Jul 25 - Sheffield, (UK) @ Tramlines Festival

*with Mylets

(via Kerrang!)

Russian Circles + Helms Alee Photo Diary // CVLT NATION 

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Andrea Petrovicova is a Prague photographer whose work is mind-melting and otherworldly. When I look at her pictures, I lose myself in them only to find a new part of my imagination. Check out this killer photo essay featuring her most recent pictures of Helms Alee and Russian Circles performing in Prague…Stay tuned for more work by Andrea Petrovicova on CVLT Nation.

RUSSIAN CIRCLES:

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HELMS ALEE: 

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See Full Photo Set HERE.

The Farm Family premiere No Spill Blood’s “Heavy Electricity” Studio Videos/Photos 

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7 Days and nights of tracking got Heavy Electricity onto tape and this is how it happened. Deaf Bros are truly buzzed to be part of this record. “It was our pleasure to work on this with all involved, especially the lade from No Spill Blood, Cathy and everyone at Sargent House.”

-The Deaf Bros.

No Spill Blood’s debut EP Street Meat was released via Sargent House in 2012. Thereafter, the trio quickly grew from side project to a full fledged band. They hit the studio in early 2014 with original drummer Lar Kaye to capture the raw, eviscerating experience of its live show for Heavy Electricity, which was recorded and filmed above by The Deaf Brothers via The Farm Family.

Heavy Electricity is now available worldwide via Sargent House.  

See all show dates and hear the new album here. 

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