REVIEW: Baroness’ Live EP Delivers a Small Taste of Awesome

Since 2003, Baroness has been one of the most promising acts in metal. Alongside fellow southern metalheads, Mastodon, Baroness have pioneered a progressive metal sound that has sounded much less technical than their peers in Dilinger Escape Plan or Between the Buried and Me. After two critically acclaimed albums in Red Album and Blue Record, Baroness released the 2012 Yellow and Green, an album that furthered their path into metal stardom. 2013 marked the release of Baroness’ short live EP in Studio 4 of Maida Vale for BBC. With four solid tracks in tow, the EP is a nice grab bag of some fantastic recordings from the band, even if it’s not the live recording fans have been anticipating.

Like their former tourmates Mastodon, Baroness’ progressive metal was constantly in strong equilibrium with the sludgy alt rock sound of bands like The Melvins and even early grunge like 80’s Soundgarden. There was certainly a level of speed metal influence, but rhythmic riffs were certainly a key component to Baroness’ sound. Even frontman John Baizley’s melodic bellow has ties to Buzz Osbourne’s low-tuned voice. That low-end melody has made Baroness’ sound remarkably approachable for a progressive metal outfit, and like Mastodon’s, the band’s sound has even managed to crack the radio rock charts. The guys in Baroness are clearly educated in progressive tradition, what with the varied percussion of drummer Sebastian Thomson and the intricate bass cues from Nick Jost. Baroness is a more accessible prog metal that’s just as adventurous, but won’t leave you scratching your head with its intricacies.

All four tracks on Live at Maida Vale: Studio 4 come straight from the band’s 2012 double album Yellow and Green, an album that, while not the breakout success of 2009’s Blue Record, further solidified the band’s reputation in the rise of American progressive metal in the 2000’s. The tracks include the album’s two singles, “Take My Bones Away” and “March to the Sea”, along with “Cocainium” (from Yellow) and “The Line Between” (from Green). The two singles, especially the powerful “March to the Sea”, are fantastic recordings, with enormous choruses and a great rhythm performance on both. The percussion tremors and melodic guitar solos of “March to the Sea” remain one of the band’s best works, a highlight in their discography.

“Cocainium” is a much more subdued recording: quieter, proggier and even a bit jazzier. Baroness still have erupting choruses, though not at the level of their singles. The guitar work from Peter Adams keeps up with the virtuosity of prog metal tradition, with melodic guitar chords and plenty of obscure arrangements displayed. “The Line Between” is probably the weakest track, however. While it isn’t necessarily bad, it doesn’t have any strong hooks, nor does it experiment enough in the progressive department. The rumbling rhythm department picks up the slack, but it isn’t enough to really make “The Line Between” stand out.

The songs themselves aren’t too different from their studio counterparts, but Baroness make an effort to mix things up a bit for this live EP. Songs flow together with instrumental interludes between, sounding like one big consistent concert recording instead of segmented tracklists. Sporadic vocal variations are nice, but it’s not really the live environment the band is best on. For a small BBC performance EP, Live at Maida Vale: Studio 4 is okay, but we’re still awaiting that epic live album from one of modern metal’s most powerful bands.

Baroness aren’t really in their strongest element with Live at Maida Vale: Studio 4, but the music is still as well-composed and performed as you’d expect. The track selection is exceptional, displaying mainstream appeal, but not sacrificing the guts of the band’s sound. It’s a bit more subdued and isn’t as raw as hoped (we’re still awaiting that Baroness live album), but it’s a nice little sampler that will likely convince many to invest in Baroness’ more essential recordings.

SKELETONWITCH To Release Limited Edition Serpents Unleashed LP – Proceeds To Aid Animal Shelters

SKELETONWITCH will release a hand-screened, 180-gram limited vinyl edition of their acclaimed, Billboard-charting 2013 release, Serpents Unleashed, of which 100% of the proceeds will be donated to two animal shelters in the band’s home state of Ohio — The Athens County Humane Society and Columbus’ Pets Without Parents. The members of Ohio’s most-loved heavy metal group have always been proud pet owners and are excited to raise awareness and support for two no-kill organizations in their region.

Limited to a one-time-only pressing of 100 copies, the black LP includes a hand-screened, hand-numbered jacket with exclusive artwork and a hand-screened dust sleeve. It comes with a color poster and a sticker showcasing the album’s original masterful artwork by John Baizley (Baroness, Kylesa, Kvelertak), as well as a download card. Mark your calendars, as the limited-edition LPs will go on sale on a first-come, first-serve basis exclusively via http://www.skeletonwitch.com on Monday, January 20th at 1:00pm EST.

 

Find out more information direct from the band HERE.

 

Praised for being their most potent album to date, Serpents Unleashed appeared on countless year-end “best-of” lists (Decibel, Metal Injection, etc.) due to its “relentlessly intense, in-your-face brutality” (Metal Assault). After touring North America extensively in the fall with The Black Dahlia Murder in addition to performing a select number of shows alongside Ghost B.C., SKELETONWITCH will continue to support the release, joining Amon Amarth and Enslaved on a US run that starts this Friday in Las Vegas. Soon after, the group will make their way to Australia for the first time to tour alongside Toxic Holocaust. The band’s complete tour schedule can be found below.

SKELETONWITCH

w/ Amon Amarth, Enslaved
1/17/2014 House of Blues – Las Vegas, NV
1/18/2014 Club Red – Phoenix, AZ
1/20/2014 Backstage Live – San Antonio, TX
1/21/2014 House of Blues – Dallas, TX
1/22/2014 House of Blues – Houston, TX

1/23/2014 Siberia – New Orleans, LA *
1/24/2014 Center Stage – Atlanta, GA
1/25/2014 The Ritz – Tampa, FL
1/26/2014 Revolution – Ft. Lauderdale, FL

1/27/2014 Atticus Bar – Jacksonville, FL *
1/28/2014 The Jinx – Savannah, GA *
1/29/2014 The Fillmore – Charlotte, NC
1/30/2014 NorVA – Norfolk, VA
1/31/2014 The Fillmore – Silver Springs, MD
2/01/2014 House of Blues – Boston, MA
2/03/2014 TLA – Philadelphia, PA
2/04/2014 Irving Plaza – New York, NY

2/05/2014 The Paramount – Huntington, NY
2/07/2014 House of Blues – Chicago, IL
2/08/2014 Mill City Nights – Minneapolis, MN
2/09/2014 Grenada Theatre – Lawrence, KS
2/11/2014 Summit Theatre – Denver, CO
2/12/2014 Murray Theater – Salt Lake City, UT
2/14/2014 The Regency – San Francisco, CA
2/15/2014 Wiltern – Los Angeles, CA
w/ Amon Amarth 

2/16/2014 House of Blues – San Diego, CA
w/ Toxic Holocaust 
4/16/2014The Kings Arms – Auckland, NZ
4/17/2014 Bodega Bar – Wellington, NZ
4/18/2014 The Rosemont Hotel – Perth, AU
4/19/2014 Fowlers Live – Adelaide, AU
4/20/2014 Espy Gershwin Room – Melbourne, AU
4/21/2014 TBD – Byron Bay, AU
4/22/2014 The Basement – Canberra, AU
4/24/2014 The Hi Fi – Brisbane, AU
4/25/2014 Cambridge Hotel – Newcastle, AU
4/26/2014 The Hi Fi – Sydney, AU
4/27/2014 The Hi Fi – Melbourne, AU

*SKELETONWITCH only

http://www.facebook.com/skeletonwitchmetal
http://www.skeletonwitch.com
http://www.prostheticrecords.com 

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Baroness 2013 Video Recap

BARONESS

2013 VIDEO RECAP

Watch the 2013 Baroness video recap here:

Baroness return to Australia for theSoundwave Festivalin 2014.

To view all tour dates, pleaseclick here.

Video byJimmy Hubbard

INSTAGRAM

Follow Baroness on Instagram for updates from the studio.

Setting up a new rehearsal space/studio

 

CONNECT

Brutal Panda Records Announces 7″ Subscription Series

Brutal Panda Records is proud to announce their first ever vinyl subscription series.  The label will be releasing four split 7″s throughout the remainder of 2013, with a new 7″ being released every couple of months.  The series is kicking off with a repress of the long out of print Black Tusk / Fight Amp split featuring artwork from Baroness frontman John Baizley.  The remaining 7″s will feature brand new and exclusive tracks from:

Kowloon Walled City
Helms Alee

Whores

Ladder Devils

Rabbits

Batillus

There will be a limit of 100 subscriptions available.  All subscribers will receive an exclusive vinyl color for each release in along with the  chance at winning a test press of one of the titles.    The subscription is currently available for purchase at this location while the Black Tusk / Fight Amp split is available for order here with the Fight Amp side streaming here.BrutalPanda_460x212

Baroness Returns to Pittsburgh in Triumph at Mr. Smalls

On August 15th of last year, Baroness fans were not so sure the band would ever return to touring or playing music ever again.  In a bus crash near Bath, England the band and crew members of Baroness’ lives were forever changed and their fans held their breath and hoped that it would turn out well for all involved.  Nearly a year later, Baroness is back out on the road in the U.S. supporting ‘Yellow & Green’, a bit changed, a bit scarred, but not broken.  I had the great pleasure to meet with guitarist/backup vocalist Peter Adams before their show in Pittsburgh on June 14, 2013 and was met with great welcome and complete openness about the experiences of the past year.

Hanging out with Pete is somewhat akin to being around one of your best buds.  He’s  your typical guy from a blue collar background and he has that Matthew McConaughey southern drawl, sort of like McConaughey’s character Wooderson in Dazed and Confused.  When he’s not playing guitar with Baroness or with Valkyrie (with brother Jake), Pete can be found in the hills of Lexington, Virginia hunting, fishing, helping at his friends farm and basically living off the land.  He’s very down to earth, humble, and friendly, as all the guys in the band are, and we wound up spending a good two hours talking about both of our lives and a lot of what has gone of in the Baroness camp.

I met Pete about 4:30 outside of the tour bus at the venue, Mr. Smalls in Millvalle, just outside of downtown Pittsburgh.  We decided since it was a beautiful day in the ‘Burgh to just hang in the open air and conduct our interview.  Afterwards Pete asked me a bit about Pittsburgh Music Magazine and my life.  It was great to find our common bond in that he has a family full of teachers and I myself am a teacher.  Beyond the dreadful experience that he had and how Pete still feels a bit of trepidation every time the engine fires up on the bus, he would go on to let me in on the fact that Baroness would probably not make any money on the tour due to paying top money for the safest bus and the best driver; a driver which has driven for many of the greatest rock and country stars who will relate his many stories to Pete while he sits up front with him watching the road drone on.  Singer/guitar player/founder John Baizley used to sit up front, but ever since the accident in Bath, he has taken to being in the back, which is where Pete was when the crash happened , creating in effect a role reversal.

Pete and John have obviously seen a lot on the road besides their accident in their decade long career.  Some of things Pete talked at length about were the time he and John suddenly got called upon to fill in on guitar for Mastodon for a brief stretch on tour.  How scary riding in a ‘Bandwagon’ can be, especially when you have to load in at the House of Blues in L.A. (see any flattened signs there anyone?). How much respect he gained for Metallica after opening for them, especially experiencing firsthand how humble they actually are, how supportive of their openers they can be, and how they practice every night for an hour before ever going onstage.  Baroness was recently invited to the Orion Fest for the second year in a row by The Metallica guys only to be told a bit later that they had to be dropped because they were on the Fest last year and there are not supposed to be back-to-back repeats.  Undaunted, Baroness booked a pre-Orion show in Detroit and lo and behold who shows up to introduce them and hang out for the show?  You guessed it, Metallica.  Pete also talked about driving through the devastation in Oklahoma recently and how mind blowing it was, even bringing back memories of when his childhood home was destroyed by a hurricane back in South Carolina.

Listen to the following audio interview in which Pete speaks about the new guys in the band, the song writing process, ‘Yellow &Green’, working with John Baizley, going back to Europe in the fall, and whether Baroness is working on new material…

That night after the interview, Baroness let the music do the talking.  Opening up with “Take My Bones Away”, the band never, ever let up.  The beautifully combined vocals of John and Pete and their amazingly intertwined guitar patterns are truly something to behold live.  New members Sebastian Thomson on drums and Nick Jost on bass fit like a glove and seem like they have been with the band for years rather than months.  The crowd ate up every morsel being thrown at them and regularly cheered at the recognition of the first notes of each song.  Baizley was sure to thank all for the support, well wishes, cards, and phone calls in their darkest of times.  The emotion in the room was palpable, the crowd and band were overjoyed at the return of Baroness to where they belong…

(If you missed Baroness and would like to catch them in the area again you might be able to catch them on a double bill with Ghost B.C. in Cleveland at The House of Blues in Cleveland…but I don’t think those tickets will last long!)

Highlights: “Take My Bones Away”, “Eula”, “Cocainium”, “Board Up The House”

All photos © 2013 AWeldingphoto and Pittsburgh Music Magazine

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Additional Baroness Headlining Dates..Don’t Forget Pittsburgh 6/14 @ Mr. Smalls!

Baroness 

 

NEW TOUR DATES
Baroness have added dates to the headlining tour:

August 5 | Columbus, OH | A&R Music Bar
August 7 | Rochester, NY | The Club @ Water Street
August 9 | Toronto, ON | Mod Club
August 11 | Boston, MA | Royale
August 13 | Providence, RI | The Met
August 14 | New York, NY | Irving Plaza
August 17 | Champaign, IL | The Highdive
August 18 | Columbia, MO | Mojo’s
August 20 | Colorado Springs, CO | Black Sheep
August 21 | Denver, CO | Bluebird Theater
August 23 | Phoenix, AZ | Club Red
August 24 | San Diego, CA | The Casbah
August 27 | Tucson, AZ | The Rock
August 28 | Las Vegas, NV | Backstage Bar
August 30 | Salt Lake City, UT | Urban Lounge
September 4 | Vancouver, BC | Venue

Support: Royal Thunder

All tickets available Friday, May 17th at 10a local, except Denver, which is Saturday, May 18th at 10a. Standby for ticket links.

Baroness

Photo by Doug Seymour

2013 TOUR VIDEO
Watch the 2013 tour video by Jimmy Hubbard: click here or below.

FYF FEST
Baroness are performing at FYF Fest in Los Angeles, CA on August 25th. Tickets on sale Thursday, May 16that 12p: click here.

MONSTER MUSIC
Baroness in store performance and signing at Monster Music & Movies in Charleston, SC on May 27th at 4pm.

PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED TOUR DATES
To view all tour dates, see below or click here.

May 24 | Philadelphia, PA | Union Transfer | Get Tickets %
May 25 | Baltimore, MD | Ram’s Head Live | Get Tickets ^
May 26 | Virginia Beach, VA | Jewish Mother | Get Tickets ^
May 28 | Charleston, SC | The Music Farm | Get Tickets #
May 29 | Atlanta, GA | Center Stage | Get Tickets #
May 31 | Dallas, TX | Trees | Get Tickets #
June 1 | Austin, TX | Chajos In Tejas | Get Tickets
June 2 | Houston, TX | Free Press Summer Festival | Get Tickets
June 4 | Lawrence, KS | Granada | Get Tickets *
June 5 | St. Louis, MO | Firebird | Get Tickets *
June 7 | Detroit, MI | Saint Andrews Hall | Get Tickets *
June 8 | Grand Rapids, MI | The Pyramid Scheme | Get Tickets *
June 9 | Madison, WI | The Majestic Theatre | Get Tickets *
June 11 | Indianapolis, IN | Deluxe @ Old National Centre | Get Tickets *
June 12 | Cincinnati, OH | Taft Theatre | Get Tickets *
June 14 | Pittsburgh, PA | Mr. SmallsGet Tickets *
June 15 | Huntington, WV | V Club | Get Tickets *
June 16 | Manchester, TN | Bonnaroo | Get Tickets
August 4 | Chicago, IL | Lollapalooza | Sold Out
August 10 | Montreal, QC | Heavy Metal | Get Tickets
September 2 | Seattle, WA | Bumbershoot | Get Tickets

% Support: Tombs and Pallbearer
^ Support: Inter Arma
# Support: True Widow
* Support: Coliseum

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Baroness 2013 Headlining Tour…Pittsburgh Mr. Smalls June 14

Baroness have announced the first leg of the 2013 headlining tour:May 24 | Philadelphia, PA | Union Transfer %
May 25 | Baltimore, MD | Ram’s Head Live ^
May 26 | Virginia Beach, VA | Jewish Mother ^
May 28 | Charleston, SC | The Music Farm #
May 29 | Atlanta, GA | Center Stage #
May 31 | Dallas, TX | Trees #
June 1 | Austin, TX | Chajos In Tejas
June 2 | Houston, TX | Free Press Summer Festival
June 4 | Lawrence, KS | Granada *
June 5 | St. Louis, MO | Firebird *
June 8 | Grand Rapids, MI | The Pyramid Scheme *
June 9 | Madison, WI | The Majestic Theatre *
June 11 | Indianapolis, IN | Deluxe @ Old National Centre *
June 12 | Cincinnati, OH | The Taft Ballroom *
June 13 | Manchester, TN | Bonnaroo
June 14 | Pittsburgh, PA | Mr. Smalls * 
June 15 | Huntington, WV | V Club *
August 2-4 | Chicago, IL | Lollapalooza
August 10-11 | Montreal, QC | Heavy MTL

% Support: Tombs and Pallbearer
^ Support: Inter Arma
# Support: True Widow
* Support: Coliseum

John Baizley and Pete Adams will be joined by Nick Jost (bass) and Sebastian Thomson (drums).

Tickets for all headlining dates on sale Friday, April 5th at 12pm ET. For ticket links, click here.

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTubeBaroness-yellowgreen-artwork

Matt Maggioni and Allen Blickle depart from touring with Baroness

Baroness issued this statement today:

Nothing can truly prepare you for a brush with death. The event is unique one, singular to the observer. Trust me, you don’t want to invite the experience. Our bus accident left indelible marks, external and internal, physical and mental, you name it. Each of the nine of us went through and continues to go through an entirely different, yet common experience. We are tied to each other by a trauma, which, despite its damage, has been made individually easier through our shared ordeal. While I would never wish the incident on anyone, I cannot imagine going through that wreck alone.

Thankfully, injury was not dealt out evenly; unfortunately it was dealt in great supply. Each of the nine of us now finds our self in a drastically different circumstance, and we each move forward accordingly. There are two important things to note. First, we are all healthy. We are recovering at different rates, and we’ll all be fine in the end. Second, Baroness has made a commitment to pick up where we left off, and get back out on tour, where we belong. In fact, I am personally staking my recovery on this principle; it gives me direction and something to look forward to (finally).

However, for some of us, the accident necessitated a change that would prevent them from performing music or touring. It is with sadness that we must announce that Matt Maggioni and Allen Blickle will not continue touring with Baroness. The details of their departure are not sensational; they do not come with hard feelings. Nor are the details going to be public; suffice it to say we’d like to keep to ourselves the finer points of this situation, to respect the privacy of all involved. While the nine of us must respect the significance of the bus accident in Bath, we must also move away from it and get back to our lives. Simply put, some of the effects and injuries were severe enough to prohibit further activity in Baroness. While we would never have asked them to leave; we have the utmost sympathy for this situation, and in earnest, we wish Matt and Allen the best in the future. In their stead, we have found two musicians who can approach our music with passion and vitality and help get us back out on tour to finish what was seemingly cut short last August.

 

Till the wheels fall off . . .

John Baizley & Baroness

Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube 

 

RELAPSE RECORDS: Releases Tribute Sampler to Pat Egan

Pat Egan, longtime Director of Retail Sales at Relapse Records, tragically passed away on Monday February 18th after a battle with pneumonia and related complications. In honor of the man who was so instrumental in the success of so many Relapse bands and records, the label has put together a 20 track compilation featuring a collection of his favorite songs and artists, including Mastodon, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Brian Posehn, Red Fang, Death, and many more, including a never-before-released track from Exhumed.

100% of proceeds from the compilation will go towards a college fund for his young daughter Katie. Relapse thanks each band for contributing each track and waiving their royalty fee to maximize the benefit for Pat’s beloved family. The compilation is available via Bandcamp at this location for only $5 but friends and fans are welcome to donate as much as they want. Direct contributions may also be made via paypal to wellmissyoupat@relapse.com.

A memorial event for Pat has been scheduled for Tuesday March 5th from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM EST at Idle Hands Bar in New York, NY. Everyone is invited to attend as we pay tribute to a dear friend, colleague & family man who left behind an amazing wife and a wonderful daughter. All proceeds from the event will go directly to his daughter Katie’s college fund. More information on the event can be found HERE.

The tracklisting for the compilation is as follows:
1. Brian Posehn – More Metal Than You
2. Exhumed – The Beginning After The End (Previously Unreleased)
3. Mastodon – Mother Puncher
4. Kingdom of Sorrow – Screaming into the Sky
5. Baroness – Take My Bones Away
6. Red Fang – Wires
7. Death – A Moment Of Clarity
8. Revocation – Teratogenesis
9. Brutal Truth – Old World Order
10.Dying Fetus – Second Skin
11.Black Anvil – Ultimate Reality
12. Agoraphobic Nosebleed – Sword Swallower
13. Zombi – Siberia
14. Pig Destroyer – The American’s Head
15. Toxic Holocaust – Sound The Charge
16. Murder Construct – No Question, No Comment
17. Horseback – Arjuna
18. Dillinger Escape Plan – Sunshine the Werewolf
19. Abysmal Dawn – In Service of Time
20. Total Fucking Destruction – In The Process of Correcting Thinking Errors

http://www.relapse.com
http://www.facebook.com/relapserecords
http://www.twitter.com/relapserecords

Bison B.C.’s ‘Lovelessness’ Will Put Them On Your Love List

They hit you like a shovel, already caked in mud and blood and piss, slamming your brain. Bottom basement guitars rooted down deep with drum and bass rhythm and riff on top of heavy riff on top of heavier riff. Based in the love of all things metal and good, born out of the Sabbaths, and Panteras, and Soundgardens, and Melvins of the world. They are dirty, fast, drop D, pounding, pulsating, back to basics, metal up your ass, all that is beautiful and disgusting about metal that we love.
‘An Old Friend’ opens up ‘Lovelessness’ and has no reverence to your need for codling. It thrives on your hate and anger and fist pounding frustration. If you are at the edge you have just been given a hearty push as you hear the maniacal laugh in your descent. Bison B.C. creates layers of patterns that have a texture of grime and excrement polished with a bit of smut for good measure. Reminiscent of the works of Mastodon and their kin, Bison B.C. has the potential to reach that bands’ level as their fans will surely tell you, and has their own style to add to the genre of ‘mind metal’.

‘Anxiety Puke/Lovelessness’ is the second track on the effort and has a throb of punk sensibility reminiscent of Black Flag, but then flips itself over and takes root in old metal magic. Gorgeous guitars blend over one another and their notes hang and bump into one another with malice punctuated by agonizing vocals. Lyrically, the thematic of ‘Lovelessness’ are glaringly clear, this is no R.E.M. ‘Happy Shiny People’ unless Slayer covered the tune and changed the lyrics to deal with destruction, death, and desolation. The “psalms of suffering” continue with ‘Last and First Things’. Starting on a slower tone than its predecessors on the disc, it quickly pulls the listener in and puts a choke hold on their eardrums. Their is a dichotomy present here of complex yet simplistic measures that are burrowed in familiarity but have a twisting, festering, invasive new passion that is infectious; it’s as if the body has lost control and must now sway and pound in homage to the music before it.
‘Blood Music’ continues the barrage of the senses and will make any sensible metalhead pray that Bison B.C. hits their town. They have built quite a reputation for their live show, touring with the likes of Baroness, Priestess, and Ghenghis Tron. Hard hiiting and unsympathetic in its brutality, ‘Blood Music’ could be the best description of Bison’s sound yet. Next up is ‘Clozapine Dream’ named after the drug oft prescribed to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia. The drug is typically used as a last resort, thus fitting very neatly into the feel and tone of Bison B.C.’s third release on Metal Blade. The cohesiveness of the music with the lyrical content puts this accomplishment on par with the bands’ cohorts such as Between the Buried and Me, Baroness, Becoming the Archetype, and The Dillinger Escape Plan. To conclude their latest is ‘Finally Asleep’ that trudges in with a military like beat to put to rest any doubts of the true weight of the material, bloody and beaten from the experience, scarred by pure existence, and disturbed beyond repair. It is the perfect cap off to what amounts to an amazing piece of sludge metal that will rot in your brain, devour your veins, and haunt your soul.

BISON B.C. worked with acclaimed producer Sanford Parker at Soma and Electrical Audio Studios in Chicago to record Lovelessness. Parker is best known for his work with bands such as Yob, Pelican, Rwake, Yakuza, Nachtmystium, Zoroaster, Unearthly Trance, and more. Needless to say, Parker is more than qualified to put-to-tape the raw, furious
energy that is BISON b.c.

What others are saying about Bison B.C.:

“thrash, smash and fuck-you-up energy that’ll soil your britches faster than a bottle of Mexican moonshine” Decibel
Magazine
“And worthy of a herd of their namesake, their music is thunderous, bone-shaking and most of all, heavy. Really heavy.
These cats have got their own gravitational pull.” Sacramento Press
“Heavy, man. Real heavy. Jean-jacket heavy.” RollingStone.com

John Baizley of Baroness Issues Harrowing Account of Accident

As most of you are aware, Baroness was involved in a very serious bus accident during their European tour in August. The Baroness camp just sent this email out to their fans:

On August 15th, just before 11 am, Baroness and our crew were involved in a very bad crash while on tour. The brakes in our bus failed completely, on a notoriously dangerous, incredibly steep (12% grade) hill in Monkton Combe, UK, on our way from a show Bristol to another show in Southampton. Our bus went entirely out of control, and we had no choice other than hitting a perpendicular guardrail going about 50 mph at the bottom of the hill. The guard rail and the 20 or 30 trees we ploughed through snapped like matchsticks as we went fully airborne and fell down more than 30 feet off of a viaduct to the ground below. Half of the band/crew were asleep while we lost our brakes, and a few of us were awake and sitting in the rear lounge. I was up front with our driver, and I bore witness to the entire thing. Once our brakes failed, the bus could do little more than gain momentum and plummet down the hill. There was nothing anyone on the bus could have done during our descent to avoid the crash, and no one, the local residents, the police or any of us can believe we survived the impact.

Most people who have been in accidents understand the pre-trauma sensation of time slowing down. There were almost two minutes during which I knew we were heading for a collision. It felt like two hours. I remember the sound of the air-brakes failing, and the panicked cursing of our driver as we slowly realized how desperate the situation was. I tried as hard as I could to yell and wake everyone up to prepare for impact. I remember the sounds of confusion from behind me as our collective terror rose. I remember seeing the guardrail split, then a cluster of trees smacking against the front windshield. While we were airborne my eyes met with our driver’s. I knew then that we each shared the same look on our face; and I won’t soon forget it. We had spent enough time in the air to appreciate, make peace with and accept a fate we thought inevitable, and we looked at one another with a horribly silent “goodbye” in our eyes.

When the bus hit the ground, I flew like a missile into the windshield. I can still see the double-paned auto glass turning blue and the spider-webbing cracks spreading outwards from the impact my body made. I hit the glass so hard, that the entire windshield flew from the frame to the ground, and I bounced back inside the bus. I landed on the ledge of the windshield. This came with an immediate and overwhelming pain throughout my body. I surveyed the damage to see instantly that my left leg was very obviously and badly broken. Then I lifted my arms forward to see if either had been damaged. My right arm was covered in burns, blood and broken glass, but working well enough. My left arm was crushed beyond belief, broken in the middle of the bone in my upper arm (humerus), and hanging 90 degrees backwards, with many spurs of bone poking through muscles and sinew at the surface of my skin. The bone was shattered into seven free-floating pieces, and my wrist and hand were swinging behind my back, spasming freely. Instinctively, I reached behind my back, grabbed my wrist and re-broke my arm forwards, hugging it to my chest, where it remained for the next three hours until it was cast in plaster. Meanwhile, I watched as some of the band was able to get off the bus and help the others, many of whom were broken-up as well, and several of whom were unconscious. There was blood, glass and diesel fuel everywhere.

We were all rushed to the hospital in Bath, and treated for our various injuries, broken arms, legs, vertebrae, bruises, cuts, etc. Our driver was air lifted to a separate hospital with many breaks as well. A few of us had to remain in the hospital for a few days, I was hospitalized for two weeks, following an eight-hour surgery in which my arm was rebuilt with the aid of 2 massive titanium plates, 20 screws and a foot-and-a-half of wire. The 15” incision took almost 50 staples to close up. I was left completely immobilized for the remainder of my hospital stay, able to do next-to-nothing on my own and in need of constant care. Following those excruciating first two weeks, I was quite literally stuck in an apartment for another three weeks with my family while waiting for my doctor to allow me to safely board an airplane, for fear of bloodclots and swelling. I have just this past week returned back to the US and my home, where I am wheelchair-bound for another several weeks of physical therapy, learning to use my arm and leg again.

While I cannot lift a glass of water to my lips to drink with my left arm and hand, I am still able to play music with it. I picked up a guitar and played the day after I returned. Not without pain (for the time being), but the hand still acts out the creative impulses I give it. I’m told I was quite lucky to have regained any use at all of my hand and arm, though I have sustained quite extensive nerve damage. In spite of this and against my logic and reason, when I pick up an instrument, my hand remembers exactly what to do. It’s far from perfect, and will require a lot of therapy in order to recover mobility and strength, but I am encouraged by the ability I have been allowed. I do not believe in superstitious signs, but I am truly overwhelmed to have been granted the continued use of my hands.
As a result of the crash, I feel encouraged not only to recover, but to move forward with Baroness, as we had been doing every day previous to August 15th. This accident has inflicted an injury which has left its mark on the band: physically, mentally and spiritually. In order to rehabilitate ourselves fully, we must work towards and then past the goals we had prior to the accident. I will consider our immediate recovery a success only on the day we plug back in to play another show.

We cannot allow this accident, which I believe is unrelated to the band or our music, to slow down or stifle what has become so much more than a passionate hobby for the four of us. Through Baroness, we have discovered a method by which we may harness our drive to create, and channel all the emotion, anxiety and pain in our lives into something constructive. Music is the universal means of communication we have chosen to express ourselves. Our message has never been one of the absolute positive or negative, neither black nor white. True life occurs within the shades of grey, and I see this experience form that perspective. It seems only fitting to me that we continue working towards creating and performing again as soon as possible, as this band and its music are the vehicle through which we grow as individuals, artists and brothers. The injury the band suffered is an injury to my family and loved ones. Rather than allow it to become a wedge that forces us apart, I would like to see this experience become part of the glue that strengthens us. We have only begun to accomplish what we set out to do through this band. There is so much more to say, and though we do need to heal up a bit; we will not allow any of those things to be left unsaid.

I have no regrets about touring. I don’t blame music or the touring lifestyle for my current physical state, or for the accident itself. It happened the same way all things happen: randomly. If I was a carpenter, and I was injured on the way to the job-site, I wouldn’t consider quitting my job. That is truly how I see this situation. Baroness doesn’t stop because we got hurt on the way to work. We love what we do much more than that, and we have chosen this path because it offers us an unpredictable adventure. With any adventure that involves travel, and with any real passionate pursuit, one will occasionally come face-to-face with the reality of living on the other side of the yellow line. I didn’t choose to be a musician in order to live a risk-free life, safely avoiding bumps and bruises. I didn’t choose to play music because it seemed like a simple opportunity to make some quick cash. Nor did I ever make the assumption that things would get easier as we progressed.

We can do nothing but attempt to make something constructive and beautiful out of all this disaster, and we are well on the way to becoming active again. I have used this time, stuck inside my own head, to consider the importance of music and Baroness in my life. I can say, after nearly 6 weeks of reflection, that I feel more resolute and passionate about our music than ever. I have come to realize the importance of time in this particular equation, that is, I have none to waste and none to spare. There is no better moment than now, broken and in physical stasis, to devote ourselves more fully towards our art than ever. We cannot allow the traumatic fallout of our crash to cripple us internally. It seems simple: the shows we have cancelled we will reschedule and play in the future. It isn’t going to happen next week nor will it be next month. But it will happen. We will be back on tour as soon as we possibly can.

There was one moment in the crash that cut me deeply. For one heartbeat and one tiny sliver of time, I became disconnected entirely. It was, specifically, the moment I impacted with the glass. In that barest heartbeat of a moment, I came face to face with the infinite. I didn’t see a light, or the tunnel or hear any music. Nor did I get a “best-of” montage of my life. Instead, I felt the tip of my nose brush up against the very same fate I had accepted moments before. I looked into a cold, unreflective mirror. It was the dark, silent, dispassionate logic of the end. I realized in that moment that life can be seen as a light switch: “on” or “off”. When the moment passed and I heard the screaming, felt the pain, and tasted my own blood, I was overcome with joy. I was ecstatic to be back amidst all that chaos and horror because it was alive and real. I finally glimpsed the relative importance of all things. The support of our fans, our friends and our families has real meaning to me now. I say that now honestly, without false humility. Thank you. Everyone.

Till the wheels fall off . . .

John Baizley & Baroness

www.baronessmusic.com

Katatonia Makes a Deep Impression on Pittsburgh

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It’s not often that I end up at a show and see a band that has a history dating back to 1991 and I have not in some way heard of them, let alone heard them. Let alone a band that has the following and rich history of Katatonia. Let alone again that this band from Sweden absolutely blew me away and had me downloading their latest effort before they hit their third song. Katatonia performed this week at Mr. Smalls on the Epic Kings and Idols tour with Devin Townsend, Paradise Lost, and Stolen Babies. Fairly laid back guys when I bumped into them backstage, but fierce and dominating in their presence onstage. The music was dark, powerful, intoxicating, and moody. The musicianship and execution was top notch. I left wondering how it was I could have been so deprived of hearing this band that reminded me a little bit of a love fest between Tool, Baroness, Joy Division, and The Cure. Their latest effort is titled “Dead End Kings” and it is truly brilliant. I feel like a kid who has just discovered the coolest toy, a dark demented and brooding toy, but nonetheless the coolest toy…

“Dead End Kings is about the corridors of our mind from where there is no return. Be a king or queen in your own right in
these hallways, even at the dead end. Carry your burden
with pride. That’s what we are doing, twenty years and
counting. Kings, because we believe in what we are
creating, in our own disturbing faith.” — Jonas Renkse

Jonas and Per discuss the making of ‘Dead End Kings’:

Deluxe edition trailer with quotes:

The Katatonia of 2012 is more potent, focused, and creatively impactful than ever before. Jonas Renkse and Anders Nyström – alongside guitarist Per Eriksson, bassist Niklas Sandin and drummer Daniel Liljekvist – are at the peak of their powers right now, and their brand new studio album Dead End Kings provides incontrovertible evidence of their unstoppable artistic momentum. A rich, adventurous and endlessly evocative masterwork that exhibits all the Swedish quintet’s established traits while absorbing countless fresh ideas into that monumental sonic brew, this is plainly the strongest and most beguiling album in the Katatonia catalogue to date. It also proves that sadness comes in many shades and that no one is safe from its cold allure. “Dead End Kings represents progression and taking things to the next level,” says Renkse. ”The writing was a little more intense and spontaneous for this one. I think that’s the biggest difference. But it was made with the same mindset as the last few albums. It just had a little more fire involved. We don’t want to repeat ourselves. We are still hungry for new music.”

From the bio on http://katatonia.com/:
‘Formed by vocalist/drummer Jonas Renkse and guitarist Anders Nyström in Stockholm in 1991, the death/doom metal scene; a darker, more emotionally resonant sibling to the ongoing extreme metal world, and one that offered a new and more humane perspective on life’s darker days.

The band’s first releases, the Jhva Elohim Meth…The Revival EP and debut album Dance Of December Souls may have seemed to draw from the same set of influences that inspired like-minded bands across the North Sea like Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride, but by the time Katatonia arrived at 1996’s Brave Murder Day (which featured guest vocals from Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt), the band had already begun to plough their own tearful furrow. “Initially we had no masterplan,” says Renkse today. “All we wanted was a band of our own, as we were totally devoured by the death and doom metal scene that was happening. It wasn’t until later that we could actually carve out our own space and see things with a broader perspective. Katatonia has become a philosophy, at least for ourselves, since it is pretty much all we have. It’s dark and personal music and lyrics, no matter what the environment around us.”

In 1998, Katatonia released Discouraged Ones, an album that saw them step away from more traditional doom-laden atmospheres into an increasingly distinctive sonic world. Incorporating a wide variety of influences, from gothic rock to dark folk, the band’s evolution was gathering pace and their songwriting was maturing accordingly. With Jonas Renksestepping away from the drum stool to focus on his role as vocalist, the Katatonia sound became more focused and intense on 1999’s Tonight’s Decision; a bravura collection of downbeat hymns to the void that set the tone for the new decade that followed.

“Most of our evolution has occurred naturally,” explains Renkse. “We started as Paradise Lost fanboys, but now I think we have a different sound, something we have crafted over the years. With every new album we try to push the boundaries of songwriting and expand the concept of Katatonia without abandoning our foundation and roots.”

As the 21st century has progressed, Katatonia have become one of the most revered and cherished of all bands in the modern heavy music firmament. Through extensive touring and a steady stream of superlative studio releases, including 2001’s classic Last Fair Deal Gone Down and its coruscating 2003 follow-up Viva Emptiness, the Swedes have spread their baleful gospel across the globe, refining and redefining themselves with every step into new territory. With 2006’s The Great Cold Distance and, in particular, 2009’s universally acclaimed Night Is The New Day, Katatonia have stretched beyond their roots in the metal scene and drawn in fans from all across the musical spectrum, not least in the progressive rock realm that has also embraced peers like Opeth and Anathema in recent times. “Yes, Night Is The New Day has been a very successful album for us,” says Renkse. “We did a lot of touring for it, and we could see the fan base expand from one tour to another. Our audience is the same, but bigger and perhaps more varied. It’s people like ourselves…ordinary people with a big love for music.”

After numerous line-up changes over the years, the Katatonia of 2012 is more potent, focused and creatively impactful than ever before. Renkse and Nyström – alongside guitarist Per Eriksson, bassist Niklas Sandin and drummer Daniel Liljekvist – are at the peak of their powers right now, and their brand new studio album Dead End Kings provides incontrovertible evidence of their unstoppable artistic momentum. A rich, adventurous and endlessly evocative masterwork that exhibits all the Swedish quintet’s established traits while absorbing countless fresh ideas into that monumental sonic brew, this is plainly the strongest and most beguiling album in the Katatonia catalogue to date. It also proves that sadness comes in many shades and that no one is safe from its cold allure. “Dead End Kings represents progression and taking things to the next level,” concludes Renkse. ”The writing was a little more intense and spontaneous for this one. I think that’s the biggest difference. But it was made with the same mindset as the last few albums. It just had a little more fire involved. We don’t want to repeat ourselves. We are still hungry for new music.”

Katatonia formed in 1991 in Stockholm, Sweden and was brought together by long time friends, Anders Nyström (aka Blakkheim) and Jonas Renkse (aka Lord Seth). After more than a year of rehearsals and composing, the first real fruits of their labour came to light in mid 1992 with the release of the demo ‘Jhva Elohim Meth’, recorded at Sweden’s Gorysound Studio and produced by the multi-musician Dan Swanö. The demo sold out immediately, bringing Katatonia to the attention of Dutch label Vic Records, who went on to re-release the demo as a mini CD, titled ‘Jhva Elohim Meth – the Revival’. With the CD selling out fast and their reputation spreading like a wildfire through the underground, the duo knew they would need a fuller line-up to move the band up and forward. So, bassist Guillaume Le Huche (aka Israphel Wing) was enlisted to their ranks, enabling them to perform live in concert for the first time in their career.
DANCE OF DECEMBER SOULS – 1993
Things progressed at pace and at the end of 1992 the trio entered into a one-album deal with the now defunct Swedish label No Fashion records. April 1993 saw Katatonia re-enter Gorysound (now renamed Unisound) to record their first full-length album ‘Dance of December Souls’, produced by Katatonia and Dan Swanö. It then seemed like the album would never see the light of day, but was eventually released in a desirable match to the album title in December 1993. The album was an immediate hit with both the critics and the metal scene. Gone were the black metallic meanderings of their earlier attempts, to be replaced with distinguished melancholy & epic melodious emotion. An essential and now classic chapter in the doom metal genre. The reaction to the new sound was just what Katatonia needed to hear, encouraged and driven by the ever growing quest for progression, they pushed the boundaries even further and set about re-entering Unisound in early 1994 to record the classic 10 minute goth epic ‘Scarlet Heavens’. The track eventually found a home, with Misanthropy records releasing it as a limited split 10″ (with Primordial in 1996).
Spring 1994 and Wrong Again records approached the band to appear on a compilation album they were putting together and in the same year Italian label Avantgarde Music approached them with a new record deal. Determined to still make a successful future in the metal scene, the band returned to the sound crafted on ‘Dance of December Souls’ but compressed the epic proportions into a more live adjusted style. Back at the familiar Unisound studio, Katatonia emerged with the tracks ‘Black Erotica’ and ‘Love of the Swan’ for the compilation and the ‘For Funerals to Come’ ep to be released by Avantgarde Music in early 1995. Katatonia then surprised everyone by taking a sabbatical the whole following year. Nyström & Renkse’s problem to find a complete & stable line-up to help them realise their master plan eventually made the two members destined to go separate ways. The time that followed, Renkse spent his time in a new founded side project called October Tide while Nyström divided his occupation in newly formed constellations Diabolical Masquerade and Bewitched.
BRAVE MURDER DAY – 1996
Eventually frustrated by abandoning the uncharted promising future of Katatonia and little action within the walls of gloom, the friends got back together with a different approach and reunited Katatonia in early 1996. Now finally, having found a new permanent third member in ex-October Tide guitarist Fred Norrman, the trio went back into the ever open doors of Unisound, but this time armed only with ideas and an intricate vision, no actual songs had been written at this stage. After a two week’s recording session, Katatonia emerged with the album ‘Brave Murder Day’, proof positive that this new daring way of working had paid off. Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt was asked to step in and perform vocal duties after Renkse declared his voice had taken its toll. Katatonia & Dan Swanö’s production values perfectly captured the highly original and newly emerging Katatonia sound; emotional and cutting edge, simple and direct while still retaining the dark void so integral to the whole Katatonia vibe. The band had re-invented their sound and this album proved to be a groundbreaking influence for many bands to emerge thereafter. After successfully touring Europe for the first time in the autumn of 1996, Katatonia felt excited to re-enter the studio early 1997 to quickly unleash new material. Facing the fact that their second home Unisound had closed its doors for good, they chose the only logical alternative in Sunlight Studio located in their home city of Stockholm. Figuring this would push their originality and experimentation to new places the result was justified in the mini-album ‘Sounds of Decay’, again for Avantgarde Music. Produced by the band & mixed by Tomas Skogsberg the CD followed a similar path to ‘Brave Murder Day’ and again saw Mikael Åkerfeldt perform vocal duties.
DISCOURAGED ONES – 1998
Fuelled and at the top of their peak of creativity, it wasn’t long before Nyström, Renkse & Norrman and new member and bassist Mikael Oretoft returned to Sunlight later again in mid 1997, to begin work on their third full-length album ‘Discouraged Ones’, a rebirth of sorts, which saw Renkse again take his old classic role as Katatonia’s combined vocalist and drummer. This time Åkerfeldt’s input moved from a primal screamer to the more eloquent vocal producer position, and it is on this release we get the first real taste of Renkse’s clean and distinct vocal style. A brave and radical move away from the old was a big risk for the band, but the sheer quality of the music on offer blew all away. The gothic flourishes of yore having been replaced by more contemporary leanings, dealing with feelings of loss and desolation, of despair and hope. This is where the band had fully taken off on their dark stylistic turn.
TONIGHT’S DECISION – 1999
Peaceville Records had been following the bands career from almost the very beginning, but it was ‘Discouraged Ones’ with its modernity and dynamics that made the label really fall in love with their sound. Realising that Katatonia was perfect for their roster of highly original acts, the label offered the band a long-term deal, spanning five albums. Delighted to find themselves working with a label that had previously produced some of their favourite music, Katatonia now back again as a trio, set about working on their fourth studio album in 1999, ‘Tonight’s Decision’. This album saw Katatonia back in Sunlight, produced again by the band with Åkerfeldt still co-producing the vocals; they were skilfully assisted by Tomas Skogsberg on the mix. The old long-time producer/mixer Dan Swanö came on board as this session’s guest drummer – enabling Renkse to focus all his attention on his ever-improving sharp vocals. With strong international distribution now firmly in place via Peaceville, Katatonia saw their popularity soar to unimagined new heights and at the end of the year Katatonia toured Scandinavia opening up for the legends Paradise Lost with a brand new line-up in Fredrik Norrman’s brother Mattias Norrman on bass and Daniel Liljekvist on drums.
LAST FAIR DEAL GONE DOWN – 2001
Being busy in the millennium year of 2000 recording the fifth album and also visiting Poland and USA together with Opeth on a number of gigs, Katatonia released ‘Last Fair Deal Gone Down’ in the early summer of 2001. The album release was preceded by a 3 track CD single, the title track being ‘Teargas’ culled from ‘Last Fair Deal Gone Down’ and spiced up by two tracks specially written for the single – ‘Sulfur’ & ‘March 4’. Perhaps more than ever, we saw Katatonia really expanding in their self-belief. With their hallmark tears of sorrow spilling over the songs, there was also a confidence and warmth about the band that added a new dynamic to the sound. Maybe this was due to the fact that Katatonia produced the album themselves over a vast period of time; maybe it was the persuasive use of light and dark, used to illustrate perfectly the emotional gravitas of the songs, either way this was the album that made the whole world sit up and listen. Renkse really had come into his own as one of the most honest and distinctive vocalists around from this scene. There was vulnerability in his vocal style that made you believe every word, giving ever so much without sounding fake. All this underpinned by the genius guitar work of Nyström, who seemed to have opened up the door from that slightly narrow gothic doom sound to rays of modern darkness and an altogether more contemporary approach. After the success of the ‘3 days-3 countries’ sprint that was the Peacefest in March 2001, Katatonia came back to the UK in May and embarked on a headline mini tour. Fuelled by the crowds reaction, they were quick to set their sails on a full tour opening up for Opeth later same year taking place in Central Europe and the UK again. To coincide with the tour Katatonia released their second single of 2001 – ‘Tonight’s Music’. The title track again was taken from their last album, ‘Last Fair Deal Gone Down’, released in March. The EP also contained the exclusive tracks ‘Help Me Disappear’, and ‘O How I Enjoy the Light’.
2002 was in total a pretty silent year for the band and the months were mostly spent with by having time off mixed with writing for the next album.
VIVA EMPTINESS – 2003
April 2003 saw the release of Katatonia’s sixth studio album for empty souls and hearts. Titled ‘Viva Emptiness’, the album was recorded in the dark Swedish winter at 301 Studios in Stockholm and Fascination Street in Örebro, at the end of 2002. Produced by Nyström/Renkse and mixed by Jens Bogren. Using the metal genre as an early template Katatonia had never been a band to stand still or stagnate in any way. With this album, the band now proved to be purveyors of an understated kind of grandeur that had long outgrown all or any generic restrictions, still ostensibly digging deeper into the identity of a metal band. Without a halo of limiting genre above their heads, the music alone said more about the enigmatic Swedes than a 1000 word effort ever could. The release was supported by a full European headline tour over the months April and May, 2003. In 2004 Katatonia toured Scandinavia two times and did a mini European tour and a bunch of festival shows all around the world. In between the live activity, the band yet again took well-deserved time off and started planning the next moves and how to create their next masterpiece.
The New Year 2005 brought the release of two compilation albums. The first being Avantgarde Music’s ‘Brave Yester Days’, a complete look back into the early days of 1992 – 1997. Included over 2 discs were the singles, demo, compilation tracks and a selection of the finest moment on the two first full-lengths. Peaceville’s ‘The Black Sessions’ was the second compilation featuring 2 discs of classic material from 1998 – 2004, plus a DVD concert from 2003’s Viva Emptiness tour filmed in Poland. Included were all the singles and b-sides to date, together with the very best tracks from 1998’s ‘Discouraged Ones’ up to 2004’s Viva Emptiness (including ‘Wait Outside’, an unreleased track from the ‘Viva Emptiness’ sessions).
To warm up and get a doze of live action before making a start on recording the new album, the band hit the road in March added to the Metalmania bill, playing a few dates in Eastern Europe. Renkse and Nyström then returned home to the making of their seventh album and spent the whole spring completing the process. At the end of the year the band made it to Russia for the first time in their career, playing the two biggest cities to a crowd that had been waiting over a decade for the dark quintet to arrive.
THE GREAT COLD DISTANCE – 2006
In the dying light of 2005 and Katatonia delivered their brand new single, ‘My Twin’ (a 4-track EP containing 3 exclusive tracks) and, shortly after, their decisive seventh full-length album, aptly titled ‘The Great Cold Distance’. The album was recorded in the summer of 2005 at Fascination Street Studios, Örebro, Sweden and was released early 2006 to universal acclaim. This was backed up soon afterwards by the release of follow-up single, ‘Deliberation’ and extensive touring throughout Europe in the Spring supported by label-mates Novembre and topped off with an American tour with Moonspell later on in the year, concluding a fantastic year for the band.Katatonia gained great commercial & critical response to the album with many hailing it as the band’s greatest work. Two more singles were lifted from the album (‘Deliberation’ & ‘July’) while both singles were also accompanied by video tracks. The band went from strength to strength with their extensive touring & festival duties before the release of ‘Live Consternation’ in 2007, which captured the band live at their glorious best at the Summerbreeze festival in 2006. Katatonia would then resume writing for the eagerly awaited follow-up to ‘The Great Cold Distance’ after having completed a headline American tour in 2007.
NIGHT IS THE NEW DAY – 2009
With such a monumental album to follow, it was 2009 before Katatonia was ready to enter the studio for their eagerly awaited eighth studio album, ‘Night is the New Day’. It was recorded throughout July 2009 & was co-produced, engineered and mixed by David Castillo. Recording was divided between Studio Mega ( for drums) and Ghost Ward Studios, where most recording took place & which provided a dose of inspiration from the darker corners of life with it’s choice of location, as Anders describes: “Broken glass, blood on the walls at the front door to the building and threatening messages written on the elevator – Even excrement and urine on the floor in the basement that makes you wonder if the caretaker is a serial killer himself”. Mastering was completed at Fascination Street Studios (where ‘The Great Cold Distance’ was recorded) with Jens Bogren. A continuation of the heaviness, depth & atmosphere of their previous album, ‘Night Is the New Day’ is also a more multi-dimensional effort – waltzing between prog moments, doom, folk & the classic melodic anthems that are the staple of Katatonia’s uncompromising sound, completed by the haunting tones of Jonas Renkse’s journeys of urban & emotional decay, & now joined by Frank Default on keyboards, notable for his work on the track ‘Unfurl’ from the ‘July’ EP – utilising his expertise to the fullest to texture the soundscapes.’

(all live pix property of Pittsburgh Music Magazine & Alan Welding)

Rock Photographer JEREMY SAFFER Teams Up with SoundCheck Hollywood for “Capturing Music: A Music Photography Seminar” — June 23-24 at the SoundCheck Store

After a successful month of spearheading photo shoots with Meshuggah, Killswitch Engage, Miss May I, Dragonforce, Overkill, Watain, Behemoth, Baroness, and The Agonist, completing two back-to-back magazine cover shoots (Outburn and Hails and Horns), all the while having one cover already on shelves (Hails and Horns), Jeremy will be heading out to L.A. for his first west coast music photography seminar in conjunction with SoundCheck Hollywood.

SEMINAR DETAILS:
The two-day seminar and workshop will focus on portrait work with musicians and will cover the entire process—from setting up the photo shoot, scouting locations, posing, different types of lighting and lighting equipment for different situations, shooting endorsements, promotional images, CD layouts, and magazine layouts, to walking attendees through the process of what to do post-shoot, invoicing, getting repeat business, and even how to price yourself. Many other business aspects of being a professional photographer within the music industry will be discussed.

The first day will be the official seminar day, where all of the above is taught in the morning, as well as a lightroom and photoshop post processing tutorial. In the afternoon of day one, attendees will complete mock-photo shoots experimenting with different types of lighting equipment, lighting set-ups, poses, etc. Jeremy has also expanded the music photography business section even more, and will also include private portfolio critique for attendees that specifically request it.

On the second day of the seminar, attendees will experience a hands-on photo shoot of special guest bands done first by Jeremy (as a real-life example), and next by themselves! Attendees will take over and complete a real photo shoot with the band in various locations.

Hopeful attendees must act now; there are only 10 tickets available to this seminar!

On June 23rd at 6pm, SoundCheck Hollywood will re-open to the public. Jeremy will be on-site signing copies of his book Bring The Noise, as well as limited edition prints and some prints exclusive to the seminar weekend.

For more information and tickets, please visit http://www.jeremysaffer.com/soundcheckseminar.

While In L.A., Jeremy will have some limited availability for photo shoots and will have some one time only rates for these shoots.

Band shoots – $500 flat rate. includes 4-7 sets of 15-20 images per set and two separate sets of solo images, as well as any endorsement shots needed.

Model shoots – $250 for 3-4 sets of 15-20 images per set, $350 for 5-10 sets of 15-20 images per set. $500 unlimited half day shoot.

He is also available for any other type of shoot, email directly to discuss.

Visit http://www.jeremysaffer.com/lashoot for more information.


http://www.jeremysaffer.com

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