Get well soon, Tony Iommi!

As I’m sure all of you are aware by now Black Sabbath’s guitar legend Tony Iommi has recently be diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma, a type of cancer. With the recent death of Dio still fresh in Sabbath fans’ minds lovers of the riff everywhere are wishing the original “Iron Man” all the best and hoping for a speedy recovery.

This news comes hot on the heels of the band’s reunion and the announcement that they intend to record a new album and tour. A statement from page Black Sabbath’s official Facebook suggests that plans for recording are going ahead despite this terrible news:

“”With the news that Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi has been diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma, his bandmates would like everyone to send positive vibes to the guitarist at this time. Iommi is currently working with his doctors to establish the best treatment plan–the ‘IRON MAN’ of Rock & Roll remains upbeat and determined to make a full and successful recovery.

“This comes as Black Sabbath–Ozzy Osbourne (vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass) and Bill Ward (drums)–are writing and recording their first album in 33 years in Los Angeles (still set for release this fall) with producer Rick Rubin. They will now go to the UK to continue to work with Tony. Further information will be released as it becomes available.”

All here at Thee Big Black are hoping for a full recovery. Let’s be honest, without Tony Iommi the music that we all love just wouldn’t be the same!

Such Hawks Such Hounds

I’m sure that many of you are already well aware of Such Hawks Such Hounds but if you’re not then make sure you check it out.

This is a documentary about the American hard rock scene and the rise of Stoner. Featuring interviews with the likes of Wino, Gregg Anderson, Matt Pike and many others, Such Hawks Such Hounds gives a great insight into the stoner/doom scene in the US. Here’s the blurb…

“For every music fan who says rock ’n’ roll ain’t what it used to be; for every pundit who concurs with Hunter S. Thompson’s assessment of the music business as “a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free;” there are an equal number who will say that the business of creating and releasing innovative and satisfying music is as healthy as ever — it’s just done on a smaller scale.

Such Hawks, Such Hounds is a testament to the vitality of rock music. Relying only marginally on nostalgia, it says that at any point in history, the music being made is as worthy of attention as that of times past. It’s an introduction to an underheralded subgenre and a realization of its cinematic possibilities.

Such Hawks tells a story that needs to be told. Since the Alternative Revolution of the early 1990s, there has been a heightened interest in music with roots in the underground, hence such excellent genre studies as Hype!, Scratch and American Hardcore. While a similar celebration of sounds held dear, Such Hawks captures a moment as it is happening.

Such Hawks explores the music and musicians of the American hard rock underground circa 1970-2007, focusing on the psychedelic and ’70s proto-metal-derived styles that have in recent years formed a rich tapestry of unclassifiable sounds.”

This is a must see!!

Oh, and they’ve uploaded the whole thing on to You Tube….

Featuring interviews with: Acid King, Across the River, The Atomic Bitchwax, Bardo Pond, Brant Bjork, Comets on Fire, Dead Meadow, Earthless, Fatso Jetson, High on Fire, Kyuss, Mammatus, Nebula, The Obsessed, Om, Pearls and Brass, Saint Vitus, Sleep, Sunn O))),Thrones.

Astrohenge gear stolen.

Astrohenge had their gear stolen from The Unicorn in Camden (London) on NYE. If by any chance you come across any of the stuff on the list please get in contact with the band. Here’s their post from Facebook;

“People of Camden/London: If you stumble across any of the gear listed below in cash converters, gumtree ebay, facebook or anywhere, please let me or matt know :-(

Gibson SG-X guitar (c1999), black, single bridge humbucker pickup, very distinctive silver skull & crossbones design by the bridge. Light wear.

Maverick Iceman copy, electric blue, distinctive ‘roll on’ volume/tone controls. Light wear….

Diagio pedal board, black, containing the following pedals:
Boss OC-3 Octave pedal
Electro Harmonix Memory man delay pedal
MXR Micro Amp Boost
Silver Korg DT-10 tuner
Orange channel switch
Electro Harmonix Small Stone chorus pedal

We’ve been tinkering

Now that we’ve got the site up and running again we decided it was about time we put the worker bees to work and did some sorting out.

First up we’ve now added Soundcloud tags to our forum. These work in much the same way as the Youtube tags you’re all familiar with. When you’re making a post simply click on “[soundcloud]“ just above the input box and paste the URL of your clip between the tags and hey presto! Once you submit the post your music will appear as if by magic. This should make it a lot easier for you lot to tout your various musical projects. Aren’t we nice?

Secondly we’ve had a tidy up on Enos’ page. When you visit the page you are still greeted with the free downloads (with the added option to buy merch if you are so disposed) but now you also have the option to click on either Enos The Band” or “Enos The Comic”. These links will take you to the relevant section where you can watch videos, see pictures, read press clippings, contact the band and get all the Enos related information you could ever desire.

Getting Thee Big Black up and running properly is picking up steam so there will be many more changes coming soon. In the meantime head over to the forum and start promoting yourselves. And don’t forget that all issue of Thee Big Black are still free to download here.

TTFN

Happy new year!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Just thought I’d get that out of the way early on. Now that 2011 is finally over and fading like a bad dream, and once the seasonal hangover has started to clear we can all start looking forward to the treats that the virgin 2012 has to offer. I’m not talking about the London Olympics, I couldn’t give a single toss about that, I’m on about the first Desertfest (the event that’s happening in London this year), another superb Roadburn and no doubt another string of superb gigs.  We’re already off to a good start with just over a month until Mastodon, Red Fang and The Dillinger Escape Plan hit the UK in February.  Here’s the dates…

  • Bristol, O2 Academy Bristol – February 5
    Manchester Academy – 6
    Glasgow Barrowlands – 7
    Norwich UEA – 9
    Birmingham, HMV Institute Birmingham – 10
    London, O2 Academy Brixton – 11

That’s one not to be missed!! Coming up this month and running into February Thin Lizzy (yeah, I know Phil Lynott’s dead but let’s just skip that one quickly) with support from Clutch. Now, whatever your thoughts on seeing Thin Lizzy with Ricky Warwick filling Phil Lynott’s shoes (personally I find them just as entertaining) Clutch are always well worth seeing live. Here’s the dates…

  • Glasgow Barrowlands – January 19
  • Newcastle City Hall – 21
  • Leicester De Montfort Hall – 23
  • York Barbican – 24
  • Cambridge Corn Exchange – 25
  • Wolverhampton Civic Hall – 27
  • O2 Apollo Manchester – 28
  • Sheffield City Hall – 29
  • Plymouth Pavilions – 31
  • Cardiff St. David’s Hall – February 1
  • Brighton Dome – 3
  • HMV Hammersmith Apollo London – 4

Skipping forward to May we’ve got ATP’s I’ll Be Your Mirror from Friday the 25th to Sunday the 27th at Alexandra Palace, London. On the bill, among others, are Slayer (performing the whole of Reign In Blood), Sleep (performing the whole of Holy Mountain), The Melvins, Wolves In The Throne Room and Yob. That’s going to be one hell of a show!!

And that’s before we get to the hundreds of smaller shows that will be happening throughout the year!

So, despite the worsening financial situation, the fact that the world is meant to end in 2012 and the ongoing general bleakness of living in a country controlled by a maniacal Tory-bot who’s programmed to do nothing but dismantle and destroy, at least we’ll have a good soundtrack!

And as a final treat here’s Buzz Osbourne being a mental…

Enos merch now available!!

Yes, it’s true, Enos now have merch available direct from the band themselves!! Visit the band’s Big Cartel page to pick up physical copies of Chapter 1 and the first Enos The Chimp comic, shirts or all three. If you’re based in the US you can also pick up merch via Enos’ Reverb Store. Keep an eye out as there will be more merchandise coming soon.

The band’s first show of 2012 is at The Cellar in Oxford alongside Mother Corona, Caravan Of Whores and Refuges Of Culture. Entry is £5 or £4 with student Rocksoc card. Bargain!!

And finally, you might like to know that work has started on the next Enos record. We’ll keep you informed!

I’m off work with a cold, so…..

Due to being infected with death-germs I’m currently sitting in my flat bored out of my mind. The second load of laundry is on and I’ve watched all the documentaries on BBC iPlayer. “So bloody what?” I hear you cry. Well, as I’ve got nothing to do and the cat is ignoring me I decided to watch F.W. Murnau’s 1926 version of Faust. Luckily the whole film is available on You Tube. I’m not in the mood to listen to the classical score so put Monoliths and Dimensions by Sunn 0))) on instead. I have to tell you, it’s bloody marvellous. Give it a go…

We’re baaack!!

As some of you may have noticed Thee Big Black was down for quite a while. This was basically down to a cock up with our server and us being idiots. We’re now up and running again and the gnomes responsible have been whipped and thrown to the hounds. Sorry about that!

Anyway…. A fair bit has been going on since we went off-line. Sadly the mighty Funeral Hag and Jovian are no more, but fear not! Oli from Jovian plus George, Monty and Steve from Funeral Hag have got together and formed an even heavier and sludgier beast in the form of Sea Bastard. The guys played their first show on Halloween supporting doom legends Pagan Alter and Monarch. You can download Sea Bastard’s first demo for free (!) here.

Thee Big Black’s house band, Enos, have been keeping themselves pretty busy of late. As well as playing many shows since we were last part of the interwebs, Enos have also been Terrorizer Magazine’s band of the day and will be opening for the legendary Wino’s new project Premonition 13 at The Purple Turtle in Camden on Thursday the 1st of December. Click this link for the event listing. On top of that Enos will be doing their Merry Chimp-Mas show at The Green Door Store in Brighton on the 19th of December with support from the superb Slabdragger, Sea Bastard and Grind The Enemy. In January the space chimp will be landing in Oxford on the 27th for a show alongside Mother Corona, Caravan of Whores and Refugees of Culture at The Cellar.

Dopefight, that other great Brighton scene band, are still going from strength to strength. Gigging like crazy their reputation is growing all the time. As well as finally releasing their superb debut album ‘Buds’ on green vinyl they were also recently featured in Soundshock’s ‘Breaking The Waves’ section. Click here to go and have a look.

More news from Brighton…. Blackstorm are gigging again!!! Still relatively sporadic with shows Blackstorm managed to get three in in the past couple of months. After getting a taste for the stage again after playing alongside Saviours in Brighton and headlining the most recent When Planets Collide in Brixton (alongside Enos, Dopefight, Gurt, Dead Existance and Sedulus) the lads are looking to book up more shows in the new year. Fingers crossed for a tour.

Most of you will no doubt have heard of Desertfest by now. Well, just in case you haven’t I’ll fill you in. The guys over at Desertscene are putting on a three day festival of stoner, sludge and doom in London from Friday the 6th to Sunday the 8th of April 2012.  Already confirmed are Orange Goblin, Church of Misery, Karma To Burn, Rotor, Black Pyramid, Truckfighters, Valient Thorr, Gentleman’s Pistols, Leafhound, Pagan Alter, Stone Axe, Greenleaf, Sungrazer, Asteroid, Dopefight, Slabdragger, Sedulus, Sons of Alpha Centuri and Alunah with many more to come. Tickets for the whole event are a bargain £70 and are available here and from the Desertfest website. Thee Big Black urges you to support this awesome festival. With any luck it might turn into the UK’s very own Roadburn.

And talking of Roadburn… 2012′s event which runs from the 12th to 15th of April has, as usual a stunningly good line up. The list is too long to mention here but a few choice bands on the bill include Ancestors, Killing Joke, Om, Red Fang, Voivod, Yob, Bongripper, Jucifer and Sleep! Go and have a look at the full line up on Roadburn’s site, it is impressive to say the least. Tickets have, as usual, apparently sold out (in 7 minutes) but keep an eye out for spares and returns closer to the date.

Anyway… sorry about the absence and in the words of Gary Glitter “it’s good to be back!”

3 of Brighton’s finest are packing their noise making gear in the back of a van, spending a few months travelling the UK and making fools of themselves for your entertainment!!

Dopefight, Enos and Funeral Hag will be playing psychedelic sludge at…

The Purple Turtle, Reading – 23/02/11. FREE ENTRY!!
…The Unicorn, Camden, London – 19/03/11. With Slabdragger. FREE ENTRY!!
The White Rabbit, Plymouth – 25/03/11. More details soon.
The Star Inn, Guildford – 01/04/11. With support from Pravus. £4 Entry
The Prince Albert, Brighton – 20/04/11. £3 Entry
Blotto’s Rehearsal Space, Birmingham – 23/04/11. With Support from Stinky Wizzleteat. More details soon.
The Portland Arms, Cambridge – 20/05/11. £3 Entry

MORE DATES COMING!!

This tour is ongoing and we are still taking bookings so keep an eye out for updates. If you would like us to play near you and know a promoter (or want to put the show on) please get in contact.

If you would like to download a free copy of Enos’ EP and comic click this link.

Check the other band’s sites for free downloads/merch details.

All the bands are on Facebook, add them to keep up to date.

Some new releases and a gig!

Here’s some shameless promotion for ya!

This should be a top night and if you don’t come along you will be mocked, quite rightly, by your friends and peers. We’re looking into getting a Dopefight, Funeral Hag, Enos tour sorted for next year (if you’re a promoter or would just like to help out with this tour please get in touch via our Myspace page) so this should give us some idea of what to expect.

Enos
Dopefight

Funeral Hag

By Definition

Saturday 4th December at The Hydrant, London Road, Brighton. £4 entry, doors 8pm. 18+ only.

Here’s a Facebook event thing.

In other news…

Brighton thrash tykes, Crypsis,have just released their first EP, Choir For The Carrion, as a free download via their Bandcamp page. Choir For The Carrion is due to be released on CD via Tadpole Records soon. Make sure you head over to our message board and check out Crypsis’ hosted forum.

Alunah (who you may or may not remember that we reviewed in issue 7 of Thee Big Black) are set to release their début album Call of Avernus on December the 6th, the album is currently available for pre-order from Play.com. Keep an eye on Alunah’s Myspace for more info and details of upcoming shows.

Now, as you’ve no doubt worked out by now here at Thee Big Black we love free (legal) stuff, especially compilations. So on top of our own comps, Black is Thee New Black Vol 1 and 2, the latest comps from Droning Earth and Exhilarate Records we’re happy to add Melancholic Epiphany (The Trance Formation is Shattered) from Hypnotic Dirge to that list.

According to the press release…

“To celebrate two-years of activity for Hypnotic Dirge Records we are releasing an extensive compilation album on November 7th, 2010 which will include audio, video, text, and visual components. The entire album has been created with a strong attention to detail and a working theme throughout. Within the compilation comes audio tracks exclusive to the compilation by some high-profile guests, some previously released HDR material, some upcoming stuff from future releases, as well as three music video premieres, some essays and short stories, and complete album artwork with a full theme, and notes from the artists and contributors. An extensive piece of work comprising many hours of work from many dedicated artists in multi-disciplinary fields. Make sure you are here to download to album for FREE on November 7th, 2010.”

And includes…

Audio
I – The Foetal Mind – Big Crunch
II – Funereal – Of That Which Lies Beneath…
III – Funeral Fornication – Stargates Eternal Beheld My Nightmares
IV – Exiled From Light – We Writhe As Worms
V – netra – Outside…Alone
VI – Ancient Tundra – The Shimmering Radiance of a Thousands Stars
VII – Njiqahdda – Nji taaevaasti vortaa est flaami
VIII – Neige et Noirceur – Croix de Feu, Croix de Fer
IX – Funeral in Heaven – Bhandhana
X – Autaric – Cremation Divine
XI – Old Forgotten Lands – Hour of the Wolf

Video
XII – netra – La Page (Music Video)
XIII – Njiqahdda – Nji taaevaasti vortaa est flaami (Music Video)
XIV – Old Forgotten Lands – Hour of the Wolf (Music Video)
XV – The Foetal Mind – La Corde Rouge (Music Video)
XVI – Exiled From light – There is no beauty left here…(Promo Video)
XVII – The Foetal Mind – The Grand Contraction (Promo Video)

Text
XVIII -’The Origin of Values’ Essay by: N. Skog
XIX -’The Bleak House’ Short story by: Vultyrous
XX -’Nji taaevaasti vortaa est flaami’ by: Njiqahdda

Hypnotic Dirge made Melancholic Epiphany… available to download for free from their website on the 7th of November. Make sure you head over and get yourself a copy of this pretty impressive compilation.

Only a brief ’round up this time but a pretty worth while one.  We’ll try and not leave it so long next time!