We’ll make this into concise as possible, so as to allow readers to break on through to the other side that much quicker: A) False Prism and Cavern Apothecary -- presented by Sadgiqacea and Hivelords respectively -- are two of the best, most intriguing mindfuck metal releases of the year thus far. B) The bands are currently on tour together. C) A mysterious scribe amongst them identified as "The Portalist" has sent along this account of the ensuing madness. (Part One lives here.) July 14th: Welcome to Columbus, home of Amateur Comedy Nights, two dollar falafels, and very large speaker cabinets. "Get up in front of people and make them laugh" so beautifully melted into "Blow all eardrums to bits" and "Bartender! Pour me a Fog...an' make it a triple!" A Hive-minded liquor sermon set up the coffins, and Sadgiqacea-whirlwind duo knocked 'em down. How do you clean such a heavy mess? Call in Bridesmaid -- they’ll sweep the damn floor with a double dose of bass broom boom wall to wall. After the show, Aaron and Faye treat us like the gods we aren’t for a second straight year; we thank them greatly. Cheers, Ohio.
July 15th: Dad's Hats. Ahem: DAD'S HATS. Indianapolis, you sure know how to preach somethin' evangelical, but that storefront next to the Melody Inn whips sinless and sinners alike. Dad's Hats is the best name for a business -- independent or corporate -- in the Known Universe. Digression phase; dead. The show kicked ass. Everyone had work the next day but came out and stayed out. Brilliant stuff, really. Kata Sarka dealt a sickening spine-twist bones-crackle to the evening with deft metal precision. And cheers to the bartender, fed us beers and roof-of-mouth scalding pizza all night long. Bloody grins all around.
July 16th: Drove through the night to get to Chi-Town. Found out the Windy City is called such for reasons other than actual wind. Refreshing, like a midday drench in Lake Mish. Onward to Dylan of Neverender and Emperor Cabs' pad for a burger, sahhsidge 'n pahndin' beerse. An afternoon well spent in any time period. Got to the Cobra Lounge like a pack of hungry Bear Grylls, lookin' for some snakes to kill and cook. Neverender riffed us silly, the type of band you listen to while grilling, chilling, riding, rolling, loving and hating. Sadge and Hive next did thoroughly darken every dim corner of the room. Roman Ring to boot: unreal technicality. Time traveling between blastbeats and grisly slides, sweeps, legatos and anything else required by virtuosos. Grand.
Huge thanks to Dylan for having us over for the remainder of the night, and for showing us Nicky's. Best damn yeeros, period.
July 17th: Madison is so tight. Like, brought vice grips to the party tight. Swim in a lake, meet a guy across the street. Guy says, "You in a band? I already know the answer to that. What do you play?" We respond: "Some doom, some black metal, some stoner, some sludge...y'know, heavy stuff.
"Black metal…like Darkthrone?"
"Pretty much." "You say heavy stuff...you guys like Boris?"
Oh, it’s on. Have a cookout in Christopher's yard, Amplifier Worship blaring. We’re talking lives here, people -- lives! By the bucket and for the taking! Synchronicity in its finest form. Now go, go to the venue and tear the heart out from under it. Sure thing, man. Play the show, hang with Panther, chyeah. All in a day’s smirk.
July 18th: Assemble the war party and raid breakfast sandwiches -- bacon egg on sourdough or a hotcake big as your stupid face? Mull it over with some maple syrup in your coffee and tell me another time, there’s important stuff happening here. Like stealing a fat ole egg from Pewitt's Nest and ransoming it for crystal clear river water swim hole cave. Done deal. Now we get to the P-I in Wasau and they say, "Bands get four pitchers each." Well, Sadge is a two-piece and Hive can face four facts with the worst of 'em. Blow the place apart, they call the cops -- too noisy at a bar; wouldya look at that? -- and wait for Poney. Then think to yourself, "That ain't no baby horse" and watch them plunder and thunder your heavy music hearts like the weird Vikings they are. Then to Brad and Chelsea's for a Vaudeville drag show and Styrofoam lasagna. And a fat side of Meatloaf.
July 19th: Twin City Beatdown. We got the 'Lords, Sadge, Poney and their tour under way and the always-pummeling Ambassador Gun still lingering with notes of MDX 2013. Nomad Pub gives us a cushy couch room with vats of Pabst to further the delusion we are Mark Wahlbergs in Steel Dragon. Each band spilled its guts out there, and a great reception from locals that had a choice to come to the show or see the Melvins says it all. Or does it? Mark and Tara put us up in all ways: great place to stay, pork tacos for the munchiest of munchers to fill up on, Betty love, bagels with bacon and scallion cream chee, and a slough of graphic novels and comics for the taking! Cheers, Minneapolis, with a HUGE thanks to Mark, Tara and Betty girl.
July 20th: Des Moines.
"Wait...there's a show? And bands from Philly are playing?"
When two metal-loving, patched-up beard wielders ask said question, things tend to be awry. Luckily Chris, Joseph, Kyler, and members of the local band that didn’t get to play with us amid the confusion are there to support in any way they can. We thank them, and amid solid promises of a better result next time, we do depart. The night did not end with droopy faces though, and Candlemass from a ghetto-blaster coupled with night Frisbee at an Iowa rest stop was refreshing, along with a sleeping bag atop picnic table awning snoozefest.
July 21st: Spent a good part of the day at a veritable paradise; an Iowan oasis, if you will. Lake Anita for grillin' dogs, swimming with leeches and drinkin' some cold 'uns. Get to Omaha right at showtime to play with Primal Waters, who like their metal old school and cool. Then Hive and Sadge proceed to stream an album of hatewizard spellcasting and voodoo refrains from a cellar far away from here once but so close now. Drive into the night; lo and behold! Steely Dan won’t start and we’re at Truckstop Heaven: they let us crash in the lounge stocked with premium movie channels and frigid AC.
July 22nd: The owner wakes us up, hears our plight and is more than happy to refer us to Sapp Bros. auto mechanics...in the backyard of the joint. They make our Dan a priority and fix her proper; new fuel pump in seven hours as a walk-in?
You can't write this stuff. Unless you're me.
Thanks to them we make it to KC with minutes to spare and link up with our friends Keef Mountain and Boreas. After some necessary reminiscing of Deado's house the year before, we enter the Art Closet for riffage. Keef Mt. threw buds the size of boulders on our heads ‘til we were stoned to death. Hive revived, and Sadge laughed at the irony of putting us all back into the sweaty earth. Enter Boreas, a sickening array of black metal and sludge with doom elements to ensure the T.O.D. Then back to Deado's to happily freeze in his glorious Arctic Blaster air conditioner amid beers, buds and whiskers. Thank you to Deado for two straight years of taking care of our broken asses.
July 23rd: Weather forecast for Wichita: Severe thunderstorms, 70 mph winds, hailstones the size of quarters and Hey! You! What are you still doing out on the road, you SHIT?! The lightning play was spectacular, really over the top for a planet like Earth, which always rules when it comes to spectacle. Get to the bar just in time for the show start. Knifewound ground our bones to make their sick bread. Hive and Sadge take the ten by ten room and pulverize it in front of a packed in room that sounded like three times the amount of people. Hell yes. Then Serpent Overlord to end things heavy and dark like a smoldering torch in a troglodyte cave. Big thanks to all those that donated and showed love that night -- had to be every one in the room -- because we left like royalty and felt like it the whole time we were there.
July 24th: Drove through the night, and for what? Oh yeah...DENVER.
We fucking love Denver.
And apparently Denver loves us. We all crammed into Cool Dustin's apartment and picked up right where we left off with our Philly-transplant brethren. Dan Maher coming from Breck to see old friends was a sight for the sorest eyes. We watched Cool as Ice, Vanilla Ice's major motion picture.
Go see it people, and try your best not to laugh your ass off or ask, "Wait...what the fuck is going on?!?"
Showtime fast approaching, we get to Lost Lake early and there is already a throng of people. Much to the chagrin of dude in Iverson's Nuggets uniform. Our van/trailer package is taking up his normal spot, and there will be hell to pay. "I'm asking you nicely. Suck my dick, all of you!" Quaint. Low Gravity put any such tomfoolery behind us with a riff web from stoned spiders. Caustic Casanova from DC was caustic as ever; think Meanderthal meets Pixies-tribute. We played our usual and appreciated the number of people that reveled in evil heaviness. But shit, we almost forgot; In the Company of Serpents does it too. Only, HOLY FUCK do they do it well. Doom, sludge and drone two-piece that sounds like four dudes with full stacks aimed at your pitiful soul. They really eclipsed the proceedings and were extremely good dudes, made us feel truly welcome. Those facts solidified them as my pick for favorite band so far on this twar. After a rough good-bye -- we love you, Cool Dustin and miss you a lot, too -- we were off into the night to make SLC happen.
July 25th: Salt Lake City; Mormon capital of Earth. After a disappointing search for a Mormon church with a giant Joseph Smith in torment on the cross, we get to the show and meet Into the Open Earth (CA), a fellow touring band, that knows our Philadelphia familia Bubonic Bear, and we proceed to make acquaintance. They opened the show excellently, heavy pentatonic riffs with crushing drum arrangements like Converge breaking things down. Then the local band Huldra played a post-metal atmospheric medley. Sadge and Hivelords closed out the night, and although the number of people there dwindled to single digits, we had a great time and so did they. After their support we were offered a place to stay with Jonathan and Chrissy, who were on the way to Boise. They fed us gourmet chili at 3am and let us crash; thank you’s all around.
July 26th: Boise seemed like a wash when we got there. The only local dropped last minute, leaving four touring bands to fend for themselves. It seemed daunting, and Into the Open Earth opened to two people, unfortunately, because they deserved better. The Set and Setting, touring wizards from Florida, played in front of a sizable crowd considering the aforementioned circumstances. A Gemini on drums, the bass and guitar filled in with atmospheric/post-metal mantras to send your soul to above the mountains. Hivelords and then Sadgiqacea to take it to the blacker side of the astral plane. Now my whining ass can stop hurting. Great job!
July 27th: Drove through the night to get to Seattle. Perfect day, awesome city, all that boring stuff I hate talking about but do because they’re my fingers and they say what they want. Steamy pho, yes please. Get to the Kraken whenever-the-fuck. Crop getting us all stoned? Yeah, sure why not. Sadge and Hive to grill you into thinking maybe you should’ve gone to see Helms Alee or Best Friends in the Forest but, fuck it, this is heavy too? I mean, I guess. Carrion Cathartid for crushing closure? Oh fuck, I just had an awesome night.
July 28th: Portland with Atriarch. Anticipation drips down the side like a can of Oly, and we know the night is for us. Get to the Know, load in and already the masses are assembling. Between sips of IPA you can find Hivelords shrieking and sieging sane walls. Slam that Hamm’s and bam your skull 'til it fuckin' vibrates to some true wizardry with Sadgiqacea. Drink down a double and partake in the new cult ritual that is Atriarch. Three bands with such striking parallels can only mean a lasting experience of moribund triumph, sunken eyes and a wonderful pit in your guttiwuts. Visceral and eviscerated all at once.
July 29th: Punk show at Tiny’s Tavern in Eugene. Now, before we get there, lets head to Multnomah. They got falls there. Falls and try swimming in that mountain-ice water. Mountain baptism. Now get there and up the damn punx. Good show, No Paradigm and Unstable Youth. Then the hammerspike sunk into your spinal cord. Loud music for the land. New mountains and ravines are popping up everywhere, y'heard 'bout that? Yeah, it weirdly corresponds with the tour path of Hivelords and Sadgiqacea. What, we can’t blare our own horns once in a while? Come to the next one and find out, these Dixie whistles are just for laughs and linear time consumption. You know how to consume, right? What are you, not American?!?