Last night, the superb lineup of SAINT VITUS, WEEDEATER, SOURVEIN, and SPLITH invaded the beautiful Bootleg Theater in Echo Park/Silver Lake adjacent. The rear theater room was opened for the night’s serving of doom — a good thing thanks to it being a larger space and having better sound. The front bar area, meanwhile, made for a fine drinking and socializing area. Few other venues such an optimal set up — smoking patios don’t count.
Unfortunately, by the time I arrived, the reformed SPLITH, which features renowned producer Billy Anderson, and SOURVEIN, who I’ve been wanting to see for some while, had already played.

WEEDEATER‘s set was expectedly pummeling, rattling with loads of low end. Vocalist and bassist Dixie Dave stomped and shook like a crazy man while his raspy bark competed with the thundering low frequencies. Three different drummers took to the kit throughout the set, and MONDO GENERATOR‘s Nick Oliveri was spotted up front entranced by WEEDEATER‘s sludge power.

The heavy got heavier. SAINT VITUS followed, delivering thick riffs in a subdued yet commanding manner. Wino and guitarist Dave Chandler commanded the audience through their long grey hairs and mastery of doom. Heads banged in approval as SAINT VITUS stamped their sound into the Bootleg audience, young and old.

Check out a clip by opeth44 of SAINT VITUS playing “The Troll“…

SOURVEIN – Black Fangs

A band like SOURVEIN has always remained true to what they are about. Their style of music has and never will be the flavor of the month, but that is also part of the charm of this hardworking band.

Once the opening riff to Black Fangs kicks in after the drum intro, you are instantly soothed with the comforting sludgy doom that you have come to expect from them. Ugly, catchy, and with the right touch of nihilism, the record grooves along with solid consistency.

The guitars and bass come together for a downtuned, mud covered, sludge sound. There is an unsettling rumble that is omnipresent throughout Black Fangs. While most of the songs trudge along, SOURVEIN stirs things up by picking up the pace with songs like “Gasp,” “Nomadic,” and nice closer, “Nocturnal/Negative Phaze.”

At the end of the day, Black Fangs is the real shit. SOURVEIN are one of the best at what they do and should not be discounted in the least. Not recommended for fans of TRIVIUM or other glossy, overly processed nonsense. (Candlelight Records)

SOURVEIN on Tour with ZOROASTER; Ghetto Angel Set for Release

SOURVEIN are serious, down-tuned sludge/doom with the Southern flavor of bands like DOWN and EYEHATEGOD. Following their debut full-length on Southern Lord Records, the band’s This Dark Reign debut EP, Emerald Vulture, was an ugly 17 minutes of slow, hateful, grinding darkness, full of thick guitars and malicious vocals. Ghetto Angel, the bands’ latest release and second EP in a series of three for TDR, charges forth with the bands’ signature style of buzzsaw guitars and droning bass with the tempered pace of a sloth, but the songwriting has found a groove not heard on previous recordings. Let’s face it, this band has had bad luck on top of bad luck with labels failing on them, natural catastrophes, drug habits taking toll, loved ones lost and everything between, but still they kept their eye on the ball. And we’re all the benefactors as they turn it all into a gut-wrenching mix of swamp metal and doom.

With Ghetto Angel set for release February 12th, the band are currently plowing-over towns on tour with ZOROASTER. After finishing off the South/Southwest and hitting the West Coast they’ll swing and head back East, meeting up with GANON mid-month for the Metal Maniacs sponsored tour that takes them through the Northeast. Plans for a new European tour are in the works for the coming months, and they band is set to burn down Roadburn Fest this year as well.

and ZOROASTER on tour now:
02/10/2008 Knitting Factory – Los Angeles CA
02/11/2008 The Stork Club – Oakland CA
02/12/2008 Annie’s Social Club – San Francisco CA
02/13/2008 Ash Street Saloon – Portland OR
02/14/2008 Funhouse Seattle – Seattle WA
02/15/2008 The Palace – Missoula MT
02/16/2008 Kingdom of Doom – Denver CO
02/17/2008 Vaudeville Mews – Des Moines IA
02/18/2008 Big V’s – St. Paul MN

02/19/2008 Vnuks – Cudahy WI
02/20/2008 Reggie’s Live – Chicago IL
02/21/2008 The Belmont – Hamtramck MI
02/22/2008 31st St. Pub – Pittsburgh PA
02/23/2008 Ravari Room – Columbus OH
02/24/2008 Knitting Factory – New York NY
02/25/2008 The Red & Black – Washington DC
02/26/2008 Khyber – Philadelphia PA
02/27/2008 The Sterling Hotel – Allentown PA

INTRONAUT Signs Worldwide Deal with Century Media Records

Very few bands can effectively mix intelligence with intensity like Southern California’s INTRONAUT, which is one of the biggest reasons Century Media Records quickly signed the quartet to a worldwide deal. INTRONAUT essentially walks a fine line between psychedelic brutality, captivating hooks and devastating yet unpredictable time changes. This is the essence of thinking man’s metal and something so refreshing that it should serve as a vicious wake up call to masses forcing the entire genre to take notice.

A short tour of the U.S. with HIGH ON FIRE, A LIFE ONCE LOST, and SAVIOURS is slated for February, which will lead them into finishing the writing process for the new full-length to be recorded in April.

Sacha Dunable (vocals/guitars) states: “There is a level of chemistry that we’ve never had before, now with our new guitar player Dave in the band. The new ideas that are flowing out of us are totally destroying everything we’ve done prior to this, and we can’t wait to hear what will come of it.”

INTRONAUT Headlining dates:
1/20 Los Angeles, CA – Relax Bar w/BOOK OF BLACK EARTH, THE FUNERAL PYRE
2/10 Oklahoma City, OK – The Conservatory w/DESTROYER DESTROYER
2/11 Tulsa, OK – The Monolith w/DESTROYER DESTROYER
2/12 Memphis, TN – Black Lodge Microdrome
2/13 Dayton, OH – Jimmy’s Cornerstone Tavern w/MOUTH OF THE ARCHITECT

2/14 Pittsburgh, PA – Diesel
2/15 Columbus, OH – Ravari Room
2/16 Louisville, KY – Uncle Peasants
2/17 St. Louis, MO – 2 Cents Plain
2/18 Iowa City, IA – The Picador
2/19 Lawrence, KS – Bottleneck
2/20 Denver, CO – Bluebird
2/22 Sacramento, CA – The Blue Lamp
2/23 Oakland, CA – Uptown