Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Clearing A Path For Their Ascent: An Interview with Mike Scheidt

As a musician, there is a line between writing and your personal day to day existence. How much should the listener know, how much do you want to let them witness what lays behind the inner curtain?

The trick is to find a realness, a relatable quality that the listener can ascertain what is going on. It can be despair, joy or a simple no thank you, time to shut it down.

The good ones are the writers that take you on a clever and heartfelt journey into their world. They let you see what is behind the curtain and let you in on what the real story is. They can bring you along with them and let you be a co-pilot on the travels of their lives.

The writer that gives you an honest outlook and puts their whole world into the music gives you a selfless description of what they are going through. They put aside their pride and give you an honest piece of work that can only be paid by one listening with a simple word; thank you.

The lyricist I am talking about is
Mike Scheidt from YOB. He and his band deliver a piece of work that is not only honest but musically, a stylistic piece that one can only imagine one to one day compose. That piece of music is Clearing the Path to Ascend.

Mike and his mates have turned in such an honest display of music that is so good, it needs to be heralded as a miraculous album in any musical genre.

I was lucky enough to witness a few of these songs live at
Roadburn. Simply put, they decimated the crowd with sheer musical whit and amplitude. I walked away a bigger fan than I already was.

So sit back and enjoy my discussion with Mike as it was truly an honor for me to speak with this soon to be musical icon. 

Gaff - Thanks so much Mike for taking the time and chatting with me. How is the new album going over, and what was the process? 

Mike - Every time we record, we get lost in the process and weeks pass like days. We were excited to put everything under the microscope, and went into a range of feelings and emotions. This album has an emotional heft to it that is unique in our catalog. The studio we were in called Gung Ho Studio is just fabulous. Billy Barnett has been recording bands for 40 plus years. So being with someone that has experienced every end of recording as far as what’s been available from 60s, 70s, 80s 90s. He has roots in all of it. The way people have been responding so far is been fantastic. I’m sure as we go along, we will get every range of experience as to what listeners are thinking about it. We gave the best of what is in us. 

Gaff - It seems to me it is almost spiritual in a way. A journey as it is very emotive. Was that something you had in mind or how you were feeling at the time? 

Mike - It was how it felt. That’s what was coming out. I think all of our albums have moments of that. It’s been a driving force from day one. Our collective tuning fork is getting more refined and we're able to dig more and more into what we want to emote as songwriters. The experiences of what we draw from as players and listeners is expanding and becoming more and more part of the music. Gaff - Some of it is almost trance like in terms of your playing 

Mike - I think the best music, when I'm watching a performer or a band, and there comes a moment where you realize you've been drifting in the sound, time has lapsed, and I’m wondering how is that feeling coming off of that fret board. It becomes more about the people and what they are bringing out.... being musically, emotionally, spiritually open and exposed, to the point there is almost a target on their chest, like there's nothing to lose and everything is given. That’s when I start getting really excited. There is a mysterious element that goes beyond the sum total of parts, somehow becoming much bigger than what is on the fret board, that’s when I get really inspired as a player and a writer. Those things become the ingredients for the spell and what comes out of it is something that is really hard to put into words. But you know it when you hear and experience it. 

Gaff - As a player and a singer, I found it to be trancelike. I think in terms of vocally and the chords, it’s pretty spectacular. I feel this album is so complete. Where you listening to different music while writing this? Marrow to me has a Cortez the Killer vibe. The drums are behind the beat. That is my favorite on the album. Vocally its great but the drums are really fantastic. 

Mike - For sure, we were listening to everything from Neurosis, Swans, Angels of Light, and definitely a lot of Neil Young and Crazy Horse , I've listened to the album Zuma quite a bit. I've also been listening to a lot of Wipers, Dinosaur Jr and music that is well composed but at the same time has a crazy aura about it that has an x factor that you can’t really put a finger on it. There is something there that carries it but the musicianship is also great.

It’s all there . I still listen to my share of metal and hard core punk, as well as Tibetan chanting, nature sounds, there’s a lot of vibe and power in the sounds of nature. We've used nature sounds on almost all of our albums. 

Gaff - For me , it transcends so many different elements. From trancelike, to a spiritual journey, to even the chords you are playing are hitting on different emotions. It’s a brilliant album. 

Mike - Thank you so much. 

Gaff - How long did it take to record it? 

Mike - About 3 weeks. We track everything live. Guitars, bass and drums, get that all in one shot. Then record other guitars and vocals. We built in time to be able to walk in and out, and once the basic tracks are down, to be able to have some breathing room and really listen to everything. To have the time for experimentation and exploration in the studio was great. 

Gaff - Some of the bass on the album has one note, but it’s so massive, where you all into playing less on the album and giving it more space to breathe? 

Mike - Aaron always knows what to play. He sinks right into the pocket, and has a great sense of dynamics. I often have these grand, specific ideas of what we are going to do when we start to write a record. But when I get really quiet, digging into the moment and start channeling what’s there, the music almost decides for itself what it's going to be. On this album there is definitely a lot more space, and there’s also some of the craziest stuff we have ever done, but as a whole, it’s a lot of pretty introspective pieces that have different kinds of tension and release to them. That was just what was there when we got out of the way. 

Gaff - Being that lyrically this is really heavy stuff you are singing, how is it performing and singing these songs live? 

Mike - It didn’t feel good right away, but you have to make friends with it. There were a lot of ups and downs when writing the album and the lyrics express that. The feelings I experience when singing these songs reflect personal experiences and revelations, which can be very charged. 

Gaff - Are there vocalist that you are into? 

Mike- I love Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford, Edgy 59 from Burning Witch, Joni Mitchell, Roberta Flack, Townes Van Zandt, Waylon Jennings, Al Cisneros, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till, Uta Plotkin, Frank Mullen from Suffocation, especially his performance on Pierced From Within, Ross Dolan, Attila from Mayhem, J Mascis, Greg Sage, King Buzzo...my influences are all over the place. 

Gaff - Considering vocally, you are doing some dynamic things, can you chat about that? 

Mike - I enjoy being creative and trying out lots of different things. I have been taking voice lessons from a fantastic teacher in Portland named Wolf Carr and that has really helped. Wolf has taught me techniques that have really changed how I sing for the better.  Now I am taking better care of my voice, warming up before shows. Because of Wolf I can be more dynamic than I have ever been. As I practice the techniques and improve my ear, I hear different new things and I am growing as a vocalist. 

Gaff - So since Roadburn, what’s been happening? 

Mike - Well, we have taken a little time off, not much. We are going to Europe in September and we will be there for 40 days and doing 34 shows in that time. I have been crazy busy, getting ready for all of that and then working on all the album details and talking to fine folks like yourself. I am trying to get everything rocking and ready to roll. We have had a few west coast shows, and I have also been working on solo material too. I'm also working on a death metal project, not to mention I'll be laying down vocals for the new Vhol album when I get home from YOB tour. Busy. 

Gaff - What is your solo stuff like? 

Mike - it’s a mix between the 1st solo record approach with equal parts acoustic and electric guitar. I have been listening to a lot of Neil Young, Wipers and Dinosaur Jr, it's been very influential. I’m not sure how it’s all going to play out. It will be a full band feel including drums and bass, keys, whatever fits the tunes.

Gaff - How is it coming up with collaborators? 

Mike - I think we pick each other, and it depends on the project. If I have a specific vision, I try to find folks who are on board with it. I might be hard guy to collaborate with sometimes as a songwriter, because I have specific ideas. I have definite opinions on how things come across rhythm/tempo wise, how the song will flow. But I also want people to bring what they hear. If we agree on the vision then it's easier to stay on point. I like complete concepts musically. That's for music that I write. In the instance of Vhol, Lumbar, the Red Fang song I did, much of that music is already written. So as a vocalist my input is to make sure the vocal structures, the approaches I use, fit the music to the best of my ability. I default to everyone involved and ask for input. I want to make sure whatever I bring is appropriate and that my bandmates are way into it. 

Gaff - That definitely makes it more enjoyable and much easier. So in terms of the tour, where are you guys going? 

Mike - Holland, UK, France, Italy, pretty much all the Scandinavian countries, Spain, Portugal, Greece. All over the place, Austria, Prauge. We are bringing Pallbearer with us. 

Gaff - Are there certain places overseas that you really enjoy playing or does it all have its own vibe? 

Mike - Each town has its own vibe. We have a great connection to Holland, and the UK has always been really great to us. I am also very romantic about the UK and the Scandinavian countries as so many of my favorite bands come from there. Getting to play in Sweden, Norway and London, so much music that I love comes from those places; every place has its vibe and uniqueness and we are pretty wide open to all of it.  

Gaff - Are you guys doing Desertfest this year? 

Mike - We are doing Desertfest in Belgium.  

Gaff - How do you like doing the big festivals?

Mike - I like them, they have their incredible pluses and also things that are difficult, but we have done enough of them that we switch into fest mode and usually we know what to expect, set up quickly, watch our clocks and be respectful of the bands that are playing after us. One of the best things about playing fests is getting to see a variety of bands and diverse crowds that may not be at a smaller show. 

Gaff - now I know you are a Hovercraft fan, do you play one of Nials’ heads? 

Mike - I have one. They are great and Nial is great. Anything I can do to support him I am happy to do. 

Gaff - How did you get to know Nial? Is that from living out there? 

Mike - Yeah, from mutual friends. It was only a matter of time before we were able to sit down and talk gear. That’s what he does and that’s what I do. Our friends that we have in common, that’s what they do.  

Gaff - So you guys obviously have a ton going on. When you get back, are there plans to tour the states? Also, any plans on coming to Boston? 

Mike - We will wait until winter blows over, we will do a full US tour in mid-spring. We'll usually do a few shows in the winter, I know we have one fly out planned for December in NYC.  

Gaff - Where are you guys looking, St. Vitus

Mike - Exactly 

Gaff - That place is spectacular. In terms of things in general, are you someone that enjoys being busy and being creative? 

Mike - I need some balance and right now my balance is hard to manage, but between putting out a new album and the tour coming up, it is worth it. I have been insanely busy, nonstop since January of this tear. But what that is going to cumulate into is a lot of van time, looking out the window, playing shows, which is busy for sure, but there is a lot of down time in between where you can be quiet and reflect. When we get home we will have some actual real time off. It's all good. It’s a crazy life, this touring musician thing that we all do. 

Gaff - It sounds like it is what you are meant to do in this life 

Mike - Yeah, I haven’t been able to stop yet. I have moments where I think it’s too much and I get overwhelmed where I say I am gonna take a few years off, but it has never worked out that way.  Gaff - so playing is such a big part, what is the guitar you are using 

Mike - It’s made by Brent Monson. Scott Kelly has a few, He has made a lot of guitars for people. Stevie Floyd also plays them. Really well made guitars, the ones I use are pretty much suited for what I do. I have been using them since 2011.  

Gaff - Do you come up with the concept for the head stock and body? 

Mike - No, but I let him know when we first started talking what I was after and he was working on a design called the Nomad which fit what I needed perfectly. 

Gaff - Is it a heavy guitar 

Mike - yeah 11 pounds 

Gaff - Fuck, However, it has a beautiful look to it. Very interesting head stock. Does he also come up with the humbuckers that are in it? Are you someone that researches the sound you are looking for? 

Mike - I am. I have been using Lace pickups. I have been using the Nitro Hemis and I have been really happy with those. PAF style but a little hotter. They have a great midrange tone to them which really makes the lower tuning come to life.  

Gaff - What do you guys tune to? 

Mike - A standard.  

Gaff - What are you running for cabs and heads? 

Mike - I have been using cabs made by a guy in your neck of the woods. He plays in Sea of Bones, Tom Mucherino. His company is called Mammoth Custom Cabinets. He made me 2 absolutely gorgeous 4x12 cabs with Eminence man o wars in them, 120 watt each speakers for a 480 total load at 16 ohm, reinforced for brutal loudness and clarity. I have been really stoked on them.  

Gaff - Now for the tour overseas, what are you using for gear 

Mike - We usually rent from Nomads in Prague and they have an amazing backline of rental gear. For this tour we are probably using Emperor or Orange cabs, renting a few Hi Watts or Marshall JMP's, maybe a Marshall super lead, SVT head and an 8x10 cab, a set of quality drums etc. 

Gaff - So when you are here, you are running one of the Hovercrafts  through the Mammoth cabs. 

Mike - Yeah, I have a Falcon, it is kind of a unique one, it’s geared more toward clean tone, it does to a channel switch but the other channel is still pretty low gain, it has KT 88s in it. It also has these custom mercury magnetic transformers that are made for this specific circuit. It turns over 200 clean watts 

Gaff - Jesus Christ 

Mike - Yeah, it is loud. 

Gaff - What kind of effects are you running? 

Mike - I helped design a distortion pedal with Black Arts Tone Works. It’s called the Quantum Mystic. It is named after one of our songs. It’s based off an old Ross Distortion pedal and it’s like a TS-9 on steroids. It is more of an overdrive than a distortion but also the EQ on it is active, has cascading gain, like amp distortion and it has a lot of boost when you step on it. The quiet to mega crush is pivotal.  

Gaff - What is the delay you are running 

Mike - It’s a piece of shit. It’s a DOD, was named one of the worst effects in history but I have been using it for over a decade. Every YOB record except for Elaborations of Carbon uses a DFX 9. I also have one of those new TC Electronics Flashback X-4 sampler/delay. I like that quite a bit. I am using that on some of the newer stuff.  

Gaff - Are you someone that is pretty picky about gear 

Mike - Yeah, I am. I have become more flexible over the years partly from doing festivals. Often you don't get what you'd like to play through ideally, but you still have to show up and give it everything.  

Gaff - Is there a band out there right now that you still love to see live? 

Mike - Yeah, Neurosis. I am completely blown away every time I see them. I leave the show and am so inspired by how unbelievable they are. It is mind blowing. 

Gaff - Thank you so much Mike for taking the time and discussing the album, touring and gear. It was a pleasure. 

Mike -Thank you very much.

So, make sure you pick up the album 
Clearing The Path To Ascend. It is on my top ten list and I am sure it will be on many listeners.

Also, I want to Thank Mike as he was incredibly gracious while speaking to me. It is not easy putting everything out on the line for the public to see, but in his doing so, he and his mates have made an album that is true and thundering at the same time.

Music, any genre is supposed to evoke emotions. That is what makes music so needed in this crazy world. You can put this album on and feel a world of different vibes and totally get off on it.

I applaud
YOB and I am sure you will also.



Written by Marc Gaffney

Interview with Shooting Guns on WolfCop Soundtrack

Today's guests impressed the hell out of us here at Sludgelord HQ in 2013 when they released their 2nd album – Brotherhood Of The Ram.

It's an album that was critically acclaimed by fans and critics alike for it's heavy psychedelic style of Doom/Stoner Metal riffs with intelligence to match. It's an album that I still regularly listen to this day.

I had to catch up with Shooting Guns 12 months on after I interviewed Chris from the band as a lot has happened since then. The guys have been working on their very first film soundtrack for Canadian Horror Action Comedy – Wolf Cop – which is getting a some damn fine praise itself.

Though I haven't seen the film yet (I will do, when it's released in the UK) but the guys have kindly let me listened to their incredible soundtrack for WolfCop. And what an album this is. A stunning mix of ambient based Doom/Stoner Metal score with tons of creepy overtones to match the horror aspect of the film.

The album will be released in Sept 2014 with details to be provided by the band at a later date. Or hopefully in this interview.

Shooting Guns have kindly agreed to talk to us once again at Sludgelord HQ and it's an opportunity I didn't want to pass up. So lets get started with all things spooky with Shooting Guns. You can read my previous interview with Chris here.

Q1 – Hi all. Thanks for doing this. How are things with you today.

Things are going great, Steve. Hopefully the same for you!

Q2 – Before we start talking business with WolfCop. Lets re-cap on your 2nd album – Brotherhood Of The Ram. 12 months on. What a great album that was you guys. It's been acclaimed all over the place. Did the response for the album impress the hell out of you. Did you expect that kind of response.

Thanks! Yeah, saying we were surprised is definitely an understatement. Before BotR, we had handled almost every aspect of album releasing/promotion ourselves so when we partnered with Daniel Hall at RidingEasy Records, I think that played a big role in getting the word out, especially outside Canada. We’re still floored by the response since we never go into making a record thinking that anyone will like it… if we did, we probably wouldn’t even record!

Q3 – What else has changed for you for the last 12 months or so. I see you have performed a lot of gigs recently as well.

We spent the winter and spring working at a pretty breakneck pace with recording and touring. We’ve also had a chance to collaborate with some amazing musicians like Zach Low (guitar) and Toby Bond (synth/viola) during these recording sessions so the sound is definitely evolving. As for gigs, we’ve played some show in Canada throughout the year and are very excited to be opening for Red Fang in October for a few dates in Western Canada.

Q4 – What has been your personal highlight over the last 12 months or so since we featured you last.

I’d say our little Western Canadian tour this past June was definitely a highlight and one of the most fun tours we’ve been on yet. All the bands that we played with were so great to watch (Earthless, The Shrine, We Hunt Buffalo, Solids, Bonspiel, Public Animal) and we all feel pretty lucky to have been able to share a stage with them.

WolfCop Soundtrack cover art

Q5 – Right. Down to business. You have a new album/soundtrack coming out to the Canadian Horror/Action/Comedy that is Wolf Cop. How the hell did you get involved with that. As not many Doom/Stoner Metal bands do a movie soundtrack.

CineCoup, the company responsible for producing WolfCop, approached out of the blue asking whether we’d be interested in scoring a film. We naturally gave them an emphatic yes as it’s something that we’ve always talked about doing and since these opportunities don’t just come along where we’re from, we figured this was our chance to see what we can do. I remember after the initial phone call where J Joly, CineCoup CEO, was asking whether we had a studio ready to go and I said “of course we do”, running to the nearest music store and renting mics, preamps, monitors, etc., and putting a studio together that day. We were definitely flying by the seat of our pants.

Q6 – The soundtrack is amazing by the way. Was it an easy or hard album to write and record for.

It was very challenging, especially at the start, since we’ve never done anything like this before. It was particularly difficult since we were commissioned to lock music to the action for all 86 minutes of material we were presented with. It took us over 4 weeks to get the first 20 minute reel done but by the end when we were in the swing of things, we were able to get the last 20 minute reel done in 3 days. Normally we spend months sculpting extended jams into something for an album and with this we had to come with an idea that was already fleshed out and make it fit within the context of the movie so we had to approach composition in a whole new way.

Q7 – What was the creative process for that album like. How many times did you have to watch the film to write the music for it.

We’ve probably seen the movie over 300 times before it was ever officially screened. We started this project during a -50 blizzard so we locked ourselves in the studio every day, putting in at least 8 hours for the first month, teaching ourselves how to pull this off and writing material at the same time. It was pretty touch and go, especially at the start, but we used the pressure to force us to deliver the reels under a very tight timeline. We presented CineCoup with over 80 minutes of original material, all locked to video, in under 2 months before we were initially approached to do the soundtrack.

Q8 – You have written 35 minutes for the soundtrack. What influenced you when recording the album as it's very ambient based with a major 80s Synth-Rock type feel. Though still including the Shooting Guns sound that we all know and love.

One of the things that attracted us to this project is that CineCoup really wanted the soundtrack to stand by itself as a Shooting Guns record. For Side A, we took everything that we had written from the first ¾’s of the movie and condensed it down to the most energetic tracks, with the last few songs showing casing Toby Bond’s composition and synth skills. Side B is the last 15 minutes of the movie, as-is and uncut, so it has a real ebb and flow kind of vibe. There’s a lot of action at the end of the movie with a lot of quick changes so hopefully it stands on its as an extended piece.

Q9 – How much involvement did the film producers and director have with the making of the soundtrack. Did they leave you upto your own devices. Or did they tell you how they wanted the album to sound like.

They gave us some examples of what they liked in other soundtracks at the very start but in terms of creative direction, we were given free reign to do whatever we wanted. If anything, they just kept saying make it loud with lots of guitar so we were happy to work within those parameters.

Q10 – Were there any differences from recording your earlier albums compared to the Wolf Cop Soundtrack.

Night and day. We set up a new studio that is solely dedicated to the band so we’re pretty happy that we were able to walk away from this in a position where it will be way easier to push out more material. We hooked up our recording computer to a digital projector so we were watching scenes from the movie while we were recording, getting the transitions and fills matched to the action on screen. While we’ve typically mixed our previous albums ourselves, we’ve got to give SJ Kardash (Full Color Studios) credit for mixing this album and making it sound louder than anything we’ve put out before.

Q11 – Now the film is finally completed, how excited were you seeing the final result onto the big screen with the music that you created for the film.

It was equal parts excitement and relief! We put so much time and energy into getting the project completed on time that it was difficult to appreciate what we actually produced from a creative perspective. Once it was on screen, it was refreshing to appreciate the soundtrack for what it was. We ended up selling out the theatre and throwing an afterparty show on opening night so it was definitely a big highlight for the band.

Q12 – How has the reaction been to the soundtrack and film in general.

I’m still surprised by how much attention that it’s been getting. One of the things that attracted us to WolfCop was that it’s written, directed, filmed in our home province of Saskatchewan, where very little film and television takes place. We’ve always wanted to promote the weird and interesting stuff that comes from out here so that was the big thing that won us over. That said, WolfCop certainly isn’t a think piece and doesn’t take itself seriously so we were unsure what people would actually think of the finished product. It’s been very surprising seeing how the film did at Cannes, film festivals, and how it continues to screen at new theatres across the world (seemingly) every week.

Q13 – Are you excited or scared that people around the world will be hearing your music for the very first time onto the big screen or in the comfort of their own homes in the future.

I find it very exciting. We were fortunate to partner with One Way Static Records (out of Belgium) that will be releasing the vinyl soundtrack (on a gatefold jacket, no less) at MondoCon in Austin, TX this Sept 20-21. From there, it will be made available at Beyond Fest in Los Angeles, CA, then through OWS in Europe and Light in the Attic in North America. Each of these channels exposes us to an audience that would likely have never heard of us otherwise so it will be interesting to see what comes of it.

Q14 – Do you want to make more movie soundtracks or was this a one-time deal only.

I think we would but now that we know how much work it is, we’ll definitely need more than 2 months to do the next one!

Q15 – I hear the album will be released on Vinyl and CD. Can you please provide more details when this will be.

Vinyl will be out though One Way Static on Sept 20. OWS is also producing a limited edition on cassette (with a VHS clamshell cover) exclusively for Record Store Day. Dub Ditch Picnic (a great Winnipeg-based label that we’ve partnered with on several previous releases) will be handling the CD release and RidingEasy Records is distributing the digital release. The iTunes link is geni.us/tlM and you can also but digital versions directly from the band at wolfcopsoundtrack.com.

Q16 – Which format is your preferred choice for people to listen your music on. CD, DD, Vinyl and Tape. And the reasons why.

We’re all vinyl fiends and after hearing the test pressings, I think this album sounds better (or at least louder) on vinyl but we’re grateful to anyone that wants to check out what we do, regardless of the format.

Q17 – So I have to ask this question – When will the next “proper” Shooting Guns album be released. Or is it too early to tell at the moment.

We’ve got a couple of split releases in the works for later this year/early 2015 and with our new studio set up, we’re in a position to start putting out a lot more material at a much faster rate than we’ve had in the past.

Q18 – Do you have any other exciting plans over the next 12 months or so. Tours to promote the new album.

We don’t have any tour plans in the works as we want to spend this winter producing as much material as we can. The colder the winter, the more we record, so it’ll be interesting to see how many albums worth of material we’ll have to promote next year.

Q19 – The last thing before you go, Do you have anything else to say to your fans.

Just a huge thank you for your incredible support! We’re still blown away by the reactions that we had to BotR and are grateful for everyone who has spread the word. We haven’t toured outside of Canada yet but it’s not for a lack of wanting to. We hope that someday we can tour the US, EU, and beyond but in the meantime, we’re going to keep cranking out loud jams as much as we can.

Shooting Guns, thanks for doing this. The new album/soundtrack is awesome. Can't wait to see the film and see the final result of your music against B-Movie – Action/Comedy/Horror movie heaven.

Thanks to Shooting Guns for talking to us at Sludgelord HQ WolfCop Soundtrack will be available to buy from 18th September 2014 on DD from BandCamp and other digital platforms. Vinyl details will be released shortly by the band.

Check the Band from Links Below

Written by Steve Howe

Check out the trailer for WolfCop.

Shooting Guns - WolfCop Soundtrack (Album Review)

WolfCop Soundtrack cover art

Album Type: Album
Date Released: 18th September 2014
Label: Self Released

WolfCop Soundtrack - track listing:

2.Barn Burner 03:24
4.Hounds of God
5.Suda 02:09
7.The Family of the Vaurdlak
8.Burchard von Worms
11.West Coast Turnarounds
12.Spy In The Sky 03:02
13.Bait Car
14.Delta Bravo
16.Concrete Therapy
17.Ride Along
18.One More Day


Shooting Guns provide the perfect soundtrack for the morning after the apocalypse, when you are sitting in the rubble of your home in a bathrobe and think, 'What should I do now?' and end up zoning out for hours in a psychedelic trance instead of making a survival plan. Bad move on your part, because you are probably going to die.


Jay Loos
Jim Ginther
Zach Low


Shooting Guns return a mere 12 months or so after releasing their critically acclaimed 2nd album – Brotherhood Of The Ram. Shooting Guns have released something special for their next release. A movie soundtrack to the cult movie – WolfCop.

Plot Synopsis of WolfCop

It’s not unusual for alcoholic cop Lou Garou to black out and wake up in unfamiliar surroundings, but lately things have taken a strange turn. Crime scenes seem oddly familiar... Lou's senses are heightened... and when the full moon is out, he's a rage-fueled werewolf. WOLFCOP is one cop's quest to become a better man…one transformation at a time.

So what have Shooting Guns unleashed upon to the world. Well it's 35 minutes of new music which blends Doom, Stoner, Psych and Ambient based noises with an 80s synth heavy soundtrack that gives you the perfect feel what the film is all about.

Wolfcop OST features the same old Shooting Guns magic from previous releases but this time the band have written shorter songs which packs a lot more emotional depth than you first realise. It can be classed as a continuation from Brotherhood Of The Ram as it features some recognisable riffs matched against a more manic quick based energy that Shooting Guns haven't attempted before.

The album is purely instrumental apart from the funny as hell last track – One More Day – which more than matches the tongue in cheek humour of the film itself. Noises, glitches, synthesizer effects and ambient sounds match superbly well with the more straight-forward Doom/Stoner Metal aspect of the album. SUDA is the perfect example of how Shooting Guns have matched their trademark riffs against a creepy occult based rock synth soundtrack. It shouldn’t really work but Shooting Guns have excelled themselves here as they make you feel apart of the action.

This album sees Shooting Guns releasing their most creative and most insane album yet. Not many Doom/Stoner Metal bands get the chance to do a movie soundtrack but Shooting Guns pull this off superbly. They have managed to capture the true essence of a thrilling and creepy soundtrack that will have you on the edge of your seat. If you grew up in the 1980s then this album will bring back a lot of fond memories as the album includes a ton of great synth based noises from late night TV shows and too many B movies you watched as a kid.

Wolfcop OST is an absolute blast from start to finish and this will rank as one of 2014's weirdest and freshest instrumental rock/metal albums. Kudos must goto the makers of Wolfcop for letting Shooting Guns unleash their magic on a highly original project such as this.

Only Shooting Guns can end the album on such a funny note with One More Day. Country and Western. Really guys. Country and Western. Why am I not surprised. As after all this is an album for a movie about a fucking WOLFCOP!!!

Thanks to Shooting Guns for sending us a promo to review. WolfCop Soundtrack will be available to buy from 18th September 2014 on DD from BandCamp and other digital platforms. Vinyl details will be released shortly by the band.

Check the Band from Links Below

Written by Steve Howe

Cannabis Corpse - From Wisdom To Baked (Album Review)

From Wisdom To Baked cover art

Album Type: Album
Date Released:23rd June 2014
Label: Season Of Mist Records

From Wisdom To Baked - track listing:

1.Baptized in Bud 03:08
2.Zero Weed Tolerance 02:53
3.Weedless Ones 03:29
4.Individual Pot Patterns 03:03
5.Pull the Carb 03:22
6.Considered Dank 03:11
7.Voice of the Bowl 03:06
8.THC Crystal Mountain 04:06
9.With Their Hash He Will Create 03:00
10.From Wisdom to Baked 03:40
11.Medicinal Healing 03:55


Cannabis Corpse was founded by Landphil and Hallhammer in the summer of 2006. The band was a heart felt tribute to smoking pot and the most brutal band in the universe CANNIBAL CORPSE! The original demo “Blunted at Birth” was recorded in the kitchen of a shit hole apt. in “Oregon Hill” a small neighborhood in Richmond VA.




How can you not love Cannabis Corpse? For a band that mashes together the twin loves of the Florida death metal scene and that fine illicit herb (of which a great many of us know nothing at all about, officer…) LandPhil and HallHammer, for all their giggling tongue-in-cheek references to weed, have created some simply stellar death metal tracks, and their fun-loving attitude has meant that they haven’t taken the genre and the mythos of death metal too seriously. The Cannabis Corpse back catalogue is a testament to making fun, brutal music, and now that they’ve newly signed to Season of Mist, we’ve got a brand new album to fiend on. ‘From Wisdom to Baked’ is 11 tracks of pure homegrown riot music. I took a lungful and this is what I had to say…

Naturally, Cannabis Corpse still have the death metal feel down pat on this new record: from ‘Baptized in Bud’ to ‘Medicinal Healing’, each track puffs out plumes of raucous death noise and coughs out growls that have Corpsegrinder and Chris Barnes alike nodding in appreciation. And the riffs. Oh my, those riffs. It’s like going back to the early nineties and taking a hit of the purest strain of death metal available. Be careful you don’t partake too much of this, mind you. Who knows what may happen to you…

It’s impossible to pick out a particular track here to stand above the others. There’s just too much yummy metal goodness on offer: have yourself an aural feast. There is some sick guitar work on ‘Pull the Carb’: a twisted little number that descends into doom tolling of cranial-crushing heaviness. Conversely, ‘Voice of the Bowl’ is a shredding stormer, with timeshifts that crank up the pressure and the intensity. Shit gets heavier than a three-day hangover, yo.

Cannabis Corpse may have chosen a laugh-worthy subject matter to base their sound around, but their musicality will never be called into question. ‘From Wisdom to Baked’ is eleven tracks of the tightest, catchiest classic death metal around, with a heavy bite and a unique flavour that always has its listeners hungry for another hit of the good stuff. Check it out and get the metal muchies right now.

From Wisdom To Baked is available to buy now on Season Of Mist Records.

Check the Band from Links Below

Written by Chris Markwell

Check out this great track from the new album - From Wisdom To Baked

ARCHSPIRE - The Lucid Collective (Album Review)

The Lucid Collective cover art

Album Type: Album
Date Released: 29th April 2014
Label: Season Of Mist Records

The Lucid Collective - track listing:

1.Lucid Collective Somnambulation 04:17
2.Scream Feeding 04:21
3.Plague of AM 03:36
4.Fathom Infinite Depth 05:07
5.Join Us Beyond 04:23
6.Seven Crowns and the Oblivion Chain 04:49
7.Kairos Chamber 03:18
8.Spontaneous Generation 04:44


For the recent successes of technical death outfit ARCHSPIRE to come into fruition, certain variables must align. Talent, drive, creativitiy, and absolute dedication are only a few characteristics one may notice about the group, and indeed many have experienced the bi-product of these characteristics:

A tight live performance, where impressive speeds come grinding to a halt, and in even less time twist and contort into complex passages rife with beautiful harmonies, juxtaposed against insidious melodies. An attention to songwriting, focusing not only on technicality, but originality as well, take this sub genre and put it on it's ear. And the combination of musical backgrounds, which is apparent in much of ARCHSPIRE'S music, showing itself through catchy rhythms, interesting riffs and arrangements, and progressive passages.

Pushing boundaries of speed and endurance set only by the genre's top artists, while remaining accessible and interesting is no small feat. These Canadians have proven themselves worthy of touring and playing with bands like Origin, Decapitated, Hate Eternal, Abysmal Dawn, Vomitory, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Aborted.

When all the elements required align in such a way that they form something original, and interesting, it becomes a catalyst for something new... and in the case of ARCHSPIRE, All has indeed, Aligned.


Oliver Rae Aleron - Vocals
Dean Lamb - 8 String Guitar
Tobi Morelli - 7 String Guitar
Jaron Evil - 6 String Fretless Bass & Live Backing Vocals
Spencer Prewett - Drums


Now there is something about tech-death that just sets my mind to boggle. Is it the ludicrously fast shredding riffs and solos? The arrhythmia-inducing drum blasts? The ear-shattering vocal growls that seem to get faster and faster with each new band that comes along?

Screw it. It’s all of those factors and probably more.

Today, Vancouver’s answer to a napalm hurricane gets the Sludgelord treatment. Hello there Archspire, and how are you today? By the sound of your new record – ‘The Lucid Collective’ – things in your world are dark, twisted, and ferocious. Lovely. In all seriousness, these guys have made an album with a definite statement in mind: WE ARE BRUTAL. Wielding eight- and seven-stringed guitars as well as a six-string fretless bass, their music sweeps the scales like Arnold Schwarzenegger sweeps up bad guys in his movies. ‘The Lucid Collective’ is as well-structured as a tyrant’s skyscraper, and just as imposing.

After my first listen to the album, the main thought that battered my already battered mind was: ‘Fuck me! That Oli Peters can sing!’ In addition to his startling prowess as a death growler, this guy is probably the fastest death metal singer I have ever heard: he spits out lyrics like a machine gun, and with just as murderous an intent. His dangerous talent is heard best on ‘Somnambulation’ and ‘Fathom Infinite Depth’, the latter of which fairly blew my brain out the back of my skull with its mixture of motormouth madness and drumming destruction. What a beautiful way to be beaten to submission.

Of this octet of obliteration, ‘Seven Crowns and the Oblivion Chain’ stands out for me as the quintessential tech-death standard. From its window-cracking volume to its guitaring masterclass, this entity fairly smashes other tech-death tunes down into the dirt and then steals their lunch money. When it finally disappears into the ether with its understated guitar and bass outro, ‘Seven Crowns and the Oblivion Chain’ leaves you bruised, wide-eyed, and sonically satisfied. Although I don’t advocate it, you may need a cigarette after having listened to it. Just to top you off.

2014 has been a year of great metal albums, and Archspire have made sure that ‘The Lucid Collective’ will grace many a critic’s list of albums of the year. It is a brutally uncompromising, expansive offering, with some genuinely surprising moments and some utterly skullcrushing riffery. Strap on a helmet and turn up the volume, Archspire deserve to destroy you!

You can buy The Lucid Collective from Season Of Mist Records.

Check the Band from Links Below

Written by Chris Markwell

Check out this track from the new album.