Performing with Skull, Mothership, Witch Mountain
Whenever CORROSION OF CONFORMITY releases a new album, folks take notice. But their latest is a true event. It’s been a dozen years since C.O.C. recorded new material with vocalist/guitarist Pepper Keenan at the helm. In that time, there have been rumors, whispers and outright allegations that the legendary Southern rock outfit would reunite to blow the doors off the whole damn scene again. In 2014, after nearly a straight decade traversing the globe as a guitarist with New Orleans supergroup DOWN, Keenan reconnected with the core C.O.C. trio of Woody Weatherman, Mike Dean and Reed Mullin to hit the road hard. “Reed called me and mentioned maybe playing a couple shows,” Keenan recalls. “I said, ‘Let’s just go to Europe and see if it works.’ So we went to Europe and then ended up going back four times in one year. Then Nuclear Blast gave us an offer and we didn’t even think about going anywhere else. We ended up touring for a year and then started tracking about ten or 11 months ago.”
Ladies and gentlemen, the long wait is over. CORROSION OF CONFORMITY have returned with “No Cross No Crown” – an album that somehow sounds as though no time has passed between 2005’s “In The Arms Of God” and today.
The Skull features original Trouble member vocalist Eric Wagner alongside longtime former Trouble bassist Ron Holzner with guitarist Lothar Keller (Sacred Dawn), drummer Brian Dixon (Cathedral) and guitarist Rob Wrong (Witch Mountain).
“The Skull” is made up of a group of very talented members whose main goal is to bring back the unique sound of American Doom Metal band “Trouble” combined with new material which has all the quality and feel of the original sound, plus so much more.
Supersonic intergalactic heavy rock trio Mothership based out of Dallas, Texas give a real sense of hope that all is well in the universe, and that pure honest rock and roll has once again returned to this planet on a mission to unite true believers. Consisting of brothers Kyle Juett on bass/lead vocals, Kelley Juett on guitar/vocals, and Judge Smith on drums, these guys have created a unique sound that satisfies like a steaming hot stew of UFO and Iron Maiden, blended with the southern swagger of Molly Hatchet and ZZ Top, paired with a deadly chalice of Black Sabbath. Mothership’s goal from the beginning has been to carry on the tradition of the classic rock style of the ’70′s, updated and amped up for the modern day. The band has been non-stop road warriors since the release of their debut album in February 2013 on Ripple Music successfully invading the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Europe playing either on festival stages, night clubs, or outdoors under the sun at motorcycle parties. This heavy rock juggernaut has only just begun their tear across the universal cosmos and have no plans of ever slowing down. Do not miss your chance to hop on board and TRIP ON THE SHIP.
Witch Mountain – It’s been a long three years since Witch Mountain’s fourth album Mobile of Angels was released. That was the band’s third disc for Profound Lore, and the last with vocalist Uta Plotkin, following an action-packed five year run of critically acclaimed albums, festival appearances, and tours that took the band around North America and Europe.
The musical partnership of Rob Wrong (guitars) and Nate Carson (drums) began in 1997 with the founding of Portland, Oregon’s first doom metal band. The first time High on Fire and Electric Wizard played in town, they shared the stage with Witch Mountain, and slept on Nate’s floor after the show. The first time YOB played in Portland was also supporting WM. Same goes for Agalloch. Friends and peers all.
With as much history and pedigree as WM had developed, Carson and Wrong were loathe to shelve their project, especially considering that the core duo was still intact. Many bassists had spontaneously combusted over the years, but early 2015 brought Justin Brown to the fold. His low end tone and tasteful swagger only solidified the band further. And then there’s vocalist Kayla Dixon.
Uta left big shoes to fill, and the tours over the last three years have cemented Kayla’s uncanny ability to sing, perform, and write with the band. It was key to Wrong and Carson not to rush back into the studio with a new group. Instead, a family unit began to develop during the 2015 tour with Enslaved and YOB. Then Glenn Danzig called, requesting WM for support on his Blackest of the Black tour. WM fan and supporter Phil Anselmo had a hand in there somewhere too…
After the Danzig tour, Witch Mountain set to work writing a new album, interrupted once more by another full US tour with Saint Vitus and the Skull. By this time, Rob Wrong was also playing guitar with the Skull, holding down double duty with two of America’s most classic traditional doom bands, proving that his pyrotechnic hybrid of Hendrix and Iommi is a force to be reckoned with.
And here comes the fruit of these labors. A new band, fronted by a young woman who has been singing, acting, and dancing since she was a small child. Kayla Dixon brings her top tier abilities to a genre little known for such soulful vocal chops. The 2016 single “Burn You Down” (streaming on NPR.org) was a hint at the majesty to come. The self-titled 2018 album is going to cement her place among the greatest singers metal has ever produced.
Witch Mountain still maintains total artistic control. The band is self-managed, self-booked, and owns its entire back catalog.
We are proud to be twenty years in, having never peaked along the way.
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