High Command Announce Eclipse of the Dual Moons

High Command return with their second full length album Eclipse of the Dual Moons, produced by Seth Manchester and arriving November 25th via Southern Lord.

Swords and metal go hand in hand— that’s what crossover thrash band High Command say, having turned heads with their debut album Beyond The Wall of Desolation (2019). “Our love for the bay area in the 80’s is certainly no secret. Besides some of the more obvious influences we have, we were much more comfortable exploring some of the less obvious stuff we hinted at with the first record. Particularly traditional heavy metal (Dio, Mercyful Fate) the south’s interpretation of the bay area (Exhorder, Obituary, Nasty Savage, Devastation, Rigor Mortis) first wave black metal (Bathory, Hellhammer/Celtic Frost). Of course all of this executed with the discharge, Cro-mags, Sacrilege DNA that runs through our veins,” comments High Command.

But it’s not solely metal music which influences the band, who cite the lustful violence of Robert E. Howard, Michel Moorcock, Jack Vance and many other legendary pulp writers of the 20th century as an impetus for their expansive storytelling. “People would also be surprised to hear we drew quite a bit of inspiration from the music of Ennio Morricone, especially in regards to writing some more of the epic, grandiose passages and chord progressions,” says the band.

Now, with their second album, Eclipse of the Dual Moons, the band take their love of storytelling a step further, deepening and widening the world of Secartha, the realm of High Command’s songs. The band place themselves as omniscient narrators of the world they have created, and say that they are inseparable from Secartha and its people. “It’s one thing to make a good metal record, but it’s another to put on top of it a sort of overarching story that makes sense to listeners. The whole High Command project is enriched by lyrics articulating characters, a world, and trials faced within it. We want our records to be immersive and leave listeners with a feeling they’ve experienced something bigger than the music,” they say.

Listen to (+ share) High Command’s new single, “Siege Warfare,” on Bandcamp.

Stream on Spotify + other DSP’s here.

It’s not just a question of widening the world, which High Command first started exploring on The Secartha Demos (2016); Eclipse of the Dual Moons sees High Command honing their process to a fine art: “it’s like we started with chiseling a rock… this record is the moment the rock in question begins to look like an actual sculpture.”

See High Command on tour on the east coast in October, as part of their Season of the Witch Tour, with Dead Heat and Final Gasp:

October 26 Takoma Park, MD @ Hell

October 27 Richmond, VA @ The Warehouse

October 28 Philadelphia, PA @ Ukrainian Club

October 29 Holyoke, MA @ Dracula

October 30 Ridgewood, NY @ TV Eye

October 31 Pawtucket, RI @ Machines with Magnets

High Command Tour poster, East Coast USA October 2022

Eclipse of the Dual Moons, track listing:

  1. Eclipse Of The Dual Moons
  2. Immortal Savagery
  3. Imposing Hammers Of Cold Sorcery
  4. Omniscient Flail Of Infamy
  5. Fortified By Bloodshed
  6. Chamber Of Agony
  7. Siege Warfare
  8. Spires Of Secartha
Cover new album High Command - Eclipse of the Dual Moons

FOR MORE FROM HIGH COMMAND:

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THE LORD & PETRA HADEN RELEASE SECOND TRACK FROM FORTHCOMING ALBUM DEVOTIONAL

“THE END OF ABSENCE” IS NOW AVAILABLE TO LISTEN VIA BANDCAMP | SPOTIFY | APPLE MUSIC

ALBUM PRE-ORDERS ARE NOW LIVE VIA SOUTHERN LORD AND SOUTHERN LORD EUROPE STORES

The End of Absence” is the second single to be taken from Devotional, the new collaborative album from The Lord & Petra Haden arriving on 21st October. The track is the closer of the album, and provides a beguiling mixture of vocals and droning guitar to create a seductive atmosphere as incessant as waves beating upon a shore.

Devotional is a rapturous and heady offering of wordless vocalisations, droning guitars, and heaviness explored in unexpected and intoxicating ways. Inspirations came from deep listening to Indian classical music, as well as a fascinating look at the chaotic and unbelievable life of Ma Anand Sheela and the Rajneesh community.

Through a haze of incense, flowing robes, and secret mantras, Haden’s voice rings out over constant drones in ecstatic chants throughout this musical investigation into the myriad of ways in which worship can lure and intoxicate.

Vocalist and violinist Petra Haden first worked with Anderson during his time in Goatsnake, as well as on the second SUNN O))) studio album, ØØ Void. Devotional is a journey that Haden and Anderson go on together, the guitar and vocals combined like the call and response of a guru and their congregation. Greg Anderson comments on the album;

“I’m extremely happy with the recordings we made together. Petra’s vocals bring a whole new dimension to the heaviness.”

Petra comments, “It was so much fun getting to play and sing on SUNN O)))’s album ØØ Void. 20 years later, I’m on stage with them at The Mayan Theater in Los Angeles singing and playing on the encore. I was in heaven! After the show, Greg and I talked about working on more music together. When I heard his ideas, I already had melodies in my head. I recorded some ideas at home and it developed from there. Greg is a really deep listener and he’s so much fun to work with. Getting to collaborate with Greg reminds me why I love to sing and improvise. I feel free and happy. That’s what music is all about.”

Seductive and hypnotic, Devotional is an intriguing new chapter in The Lord’s exploration of heavy music.

Devotional by The Lord & Petra Haden shall be released on all formats on 21st October via Southern Lord and Southern Lord Europe. Liner notes by Ian Astbury offer an esoteric perspective on the music.

Track listing:

  1. Devotional
  2. Rise To Diminish
  3. What Lies Behind Us Lies Buried Because It Is Dead
  4. Ma Anand Sheela
  5. Yaman
  6. The End of Absence
Photo credit: Al Overdrive
Petra Haden Photo credit: Steven Perilloux
Photo credit: Steven Perilloux

FOR MORE ON THE LORD

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The Catatonics Hunted Down Available Everywhere from Southern Lord.

Originally pressed for Record Store Day, the long-awaited re-release is out now on LP + Digital formats.

The Catatonics were just about the most intense thrash band I’d ever seen back in the day. Just nuts. They out Boston-ed all of the ‘This Is Boston Not LA’ bands. Back then, they were the go-to band in the Syracuse hardcore scene. You pretty much needed their blessings in Upstate NY.” – Kevin Seconds (7 Seconds)

The pioneers of the original Syracuse hardcore scene. Still one of my favorites.. metallic thrash that kills at any time. ‘Hunted Down’ is between SSD and DYS on my shelf.” – Karl Buechner (Earth Crisis)

“‘Hunted Down’ is the sort of record that usually eludes you for one reason or another, but first inhabits crucial minutes of mixtapes, the sweet crackle at the tail end of some die-hard’s radio set, or maybe the pleasant surprise at a DJ night when someone decides to speed things up and you hear and recognize the first few guitar notes of ‘Never Again’ and you get happy ’cause you’re in on the secret of The Catatonics. I managed to score mine in an unlikely place in Toronto, and coveted its arrival into my record collection immediately. For those poor others who haven’t had my luck, the glowing green toothless grin of this record finally has a happy home on wax again!” – Jonah Falco (Fucked Up)


The Catatonics were Syracuse and Central New York’s first hardcore punk band. Besides pioneering the original 1981/1982 Syracuse Hardcore scene, their classic Hunted Down EP is considered one of the first hardcore thrash/metal crossover releases, right up there with COC or DRI and remains a sought after (and pricey) collectors item 30+ years after its release. Often compared to Jerry’s Kids, SSD, Negative Approach and even Slayer, The Catatonics weren’t followers or imitators, more like period contemporaries.

Although the wait has been decades in the making, Southern Lord Records has reissued Hunted Down, now available on digital and physical formats. All tracks have been remastered from original sources by Brad Boatright.

Listen to Hunted Down’s title track on Bandcamp.

Syracuse NY, 1981:

Small town USA, smack dab in the middle of New York State. Although only 5 hours away from NYC, Syracuse and the surrounding area might as well have been 10 years away. Conservative, reactionary, redneck. Reagan’s America. It was a pretty barren place for a young, pissed off NYC transplant and hardcore punk rock kid named Belvy to be stuck in. Teaming up with another similar minded transplant from Florida named Joe Miller, the two hit it off, started writing songs and formed what would become The Catatonics. Frustrated at not being in (and envious of) Boston, DC, LA, or NYC – the 4 teenagers that made up The Catatonics did something about it. They took DIY to heart and willed a scene: putting on shows, putting out ‘zines, putting out releases and most importantly, aggressively encouraging any and all other Upstate and Central New York kids to create scenes and start bands of their own. To put the Syracuse of 1981/82 in perspective: The Catatonics initial shows would often include street musicians to round out the bills – there just weren’t any other punk or hardcore kindred spirits running around (save Cortland’s Suburban Rebels/SFB who Belvy also drummed in). And street musicians were at least better than Grateful Dead cover bands. The original Catatonics lineup of Belvy, Joe, and Louie Arrowhead played all over the Syracuse area during late 1981 and 1982. Usually on school nights. (Belvy and Joe’s high school class mate Farmer Brown replaced Louie shortly after, with Jeff joining soon after that). Belvy, Joe and Farmer would also routinely get sent home or suspended for wearing Dead Kennedys and Circle Jerks t-shirts to school, sincerely baffled as to how anyone could find this offensive. Nights there wasn’t a show (or to celebrate a particularly awesome one), there would be spray painting, breaking and entering, hooliganism, fights, and good natured vandalism. Schools. Bars. Churches. Office Buildings. Bored Teenagers, like the song says. But also curious, ambitious, hungry-for-something-else teenagers.

Fast forward to 1984:

Syracuse/Central New York now boasted a good dozen+ local bands, an indie record store, multiple all ages spaces for shows, and had really begun to make a mark on the national scene. The Catatonics (and crew) busted serious ass and would wind up bringing some of the best punk and hardcore bands of the era to town. Youth Brigade, Black Flag, 7 Seconds, Gang Green, Suicidal Tendencies, Scream, M.I.A, Die Kreuzen, Husker Du, Necros, GBH, Battalion Of Saints and many more all now regularly hit the previous dead zone known as Syracuse/Central New York. The Catatonics (with Syracuse dragged along) had arrived. They became a much more serious and intense band and after putting out 2 or 3 cassette only releases, recorded and self released the 5 song EP Hunted Down which would feature the classic lineup of Belvy, Joe (now ‘Jack Shit’), Farmer (switching to 2nd guitar), and new bassist Jeff Jacques. Hunted Down made dozens of ‘best of’ lists. Maximum Rock & Roll did a feature on the Syracuse scene, and then one on The Catatonics. They appeared alongside big names like The Germs and Misfits on the super influential Flipside Magazine’s 2nd compilation LP with arguably their finest moment, Descending In E. Things were looking good. The Catatonics kept gigging hard, blowing away bigger established national acts, getting zine covers and more great press. New material was written, early demos for a full length were underway, talks of a U.S. tour were amidst, and then…

It was gone.

Both musical & personal differences led to The Catatonics breaking up. A lot of it can probably be chalked up to Belvy wanting to go out and see the world and do something bigger (going on to join 7 Seconds, UK Subs, D Generation, Libertine and many more), so who knows what would’ve happened had they stayed the course. But that was then, this is now, and Southern Lord Records has made this landmark release available to the masses on LP + Digital formats.

Hunted Down re-release track listing:

Side 1
1) Descending in E
2) Never Again
3) Bet I Can
4) Hunted Down
5) What You See And What You Say
6) Obstinate
7) Nobody But Me
8) All Revved Up
9) Leave Me Alone
10) Novelty Item

Side 2
11) I Can’t Take You Anywhere
12) Don’t Call Me Honey
13) Drink More Brew
14) Suburbia Bop
15) Terrorist Valentine
16) Stupid Lawn Ornaments
17) Why Do You Exist
18) Jeff Goes Off

Southern Lord Proudly Welcomes Black Metal Artist, Marthe.

Southern Lord is excited to announce that we will be working with thee one-woman black metal/crust entity, Marthe.

Greg Anderson (Southern Lord curator and member of SUNN O))) and Goatsnake) says of the signing: “The music is dark, powerful, intense crust-injected black metal that, to my ears, sounds somewhere between Bathory and Tragedy.”

Marthe is the creation of multi-instrumentalist, Marzia, who has played drums in several renowned Italian crust punk bands as well as guitar in death rock-post punk band Horror Vacui.

Marzia describes the Marthe project as Antifascist, feminist and misanthropic. Prior to the demo of Victimized, Marthe also released the EP Sisters of Darkness, via Agipunk Records.

There will be more news to come from Marthe and Southern Lord soon, but in the meantime you can listen to Marthe’s previous releases via Bandcamp.

Listen to (+ share) Marthe’s most recent single “Victimized” on Bandcamp.

FOR MORE ON MARTHE:

BANDCAMP | FACEBOOK | YOUTUBE | LINKTREE

Greg Anderson Releases Debut Full-Length as The Lord — Forest Nocturne

Southern Lord continues the label’s prolific output with the release of a stunning new LP: Greg Anderson’s debut full-length as The Lord, Forest Nocturne
Additionally, The Lord has unveiled the Forest Nocturne demo recordings, originally only available on the Daymare Records Japanese CD edition —  check those out on Bandcamp.

Forest Nocturne sees Anderson (guitarist of SUNN O))), Goatsnake & Southern Lord curator) taking cues from legendary film composers: John Carpenter and Bernard Hermann, in order to create cinematic landscapes which are heavy with tension, and offset by the injection of lethal doses of early 90s Scandinavian Death Metal – with Attila Csihar (of notorious Norwegian black metal band Mayhem & frequent SUNN O))) collaborator) lending his putrid vocals to final track “Triumph of the Oak.”

For Forest Nocturne, Anderson worked with renowned producer Brad Wood. Dan Seagrave‘s epic and fantastical style is instantly recognizable on the album’s startling artwork, something which seems to depict an ancient and unknowable force in the woodlands. Forest Nocturne is described by Anderson as “music of the night,” but inspired by imagery conjured on daytime hikes, and majestic, beautiful trees, which he sees as survivors— perhaps the last known connection that we have to an ancient world, and acting as a connector between past, present and future of the human race and of our time on this planet.

Greg Anderson began making music in the mid-eighties with hardcore bands False Liberty and Brotherhood before refining his musicality during the nineties with the post-hardcore collective Engine Kid. From that point on, the musical direction started shifting, channelling his love of tone, riffs and repetitive sound, vital elements that feed into the meditative cosmos of SUNN O))), and the ‘low and slow’ sounds of Goatsnake, both of whom find different ways to move beyond confines and tropes of their respective sound worlds.

In August and September 2021 respectively, Greg Anderson released two singles under the name The Lord; “Needle Cast” with Robin Wattie (the unmistakably emotive vocalist of BIG|BRAVE) and “We Who Walk In Light” with William Duvall (of Seattle rock legends Alice In Chains and hardcore-punk group Neon Christ). Unintentionally moving in a different direction from those bands within which he found his feet, Anderson was able to take on the mantle of The Lord in a new, pictorial approach to heavy music. Through this process, he found himself moved to collaborate with vocalists he admires.

Originally released for Record Store Day, Forest Nocturne is now streaming everywhere and is available everywhere today on CD and vinyl formats— pick up a copy here.

THE LORD – Forest Nocturne demo recordings
THE LORD – Forest Nocturne demo recordings

Greg Anderson As The Lord Announces New Full-length Album Collaboration With Petra Haden

Closely following the debut full-length album from The Lord (the moniker of Greg Anderson of SUNN O))), Goatsnake and Engine Kid), Forest Nocturne (incoming on July 29th), Southern Lord reveals details of the second full-length from The Lord this year, arriving on September 30, 2022.

Listen to (+ share) “Devotional” now on Bandcamp.


Devotional is a new collaborative album with vocalist and violinist Petra Haden, who first worked with Anderson during his time in Goatsnake, as well as on the second SUNN O))) studio album, ØØ Void.

Devotional is a rapturous and heady offering of wordless vocalizations, droning guitars, and heaviness explored in unexpected and intoxicating ways. Inspirations came from deep listening to Indian classical music, as well as a fascinating look at the chaotic and unbelievable life of Ma Anand Sheela and the Rajneesh community.

Through a haze of incense, flowing robes, and secret mantras, Haden’s voice rings out over constant drones in ecstatic chants throughout this musical investigation into the myriad of ways in which worship can lure and intoxicate. This is a journey that Haden and Anderson go on together, the guitar and vocals combined like the call and response of a guru and their congregation. Greg Anderson comments on the album, “I’m extremely happy with the recordings we made together. Petra’s vocals bring a whole new dimension to the heaviness.”

Petra Haden comments, “It was so much fun getting to play and sing on SUNN O)))’s album ØØ Void. 20 years later, I’m on stage with them at The Mayan Theater in Los Angeles singing and playing on the encore. I was in heaven! After the show, Greg and I talked about working on more music together. When I heard his ideas, I already had melodies in my head. I recorded some ideas at home and it developed from there. Greg is a really deep listener and he’s so much fun to work with. Getting to collaborate with Greg reminds me why I love to sing and improvise. I feel free and happy. That’s what music is all about.”

Seductive and hypnotic, Devotional is an intriguing new chapter in The Lord’s exploration of heavy music.

Devotional by The Lord & Petra Haden will be released on all formats on September 30th via Southern Lord. Liner notes by Ian Astbury offer an esoteric perspective on the music. Digital pre-orders and more are available now on Bandcamp + more music is coming soon.

Track listing:

  1. Devotional
  2. Rise To Diminish
  3. What Lies Behind Us Lies Buried Because It Is Dead
  4. Ma Anand Sheela
  5. Yaman
  6. The End of Absence

Southern Lord Announces Vinyl Release of Legendary Goatsnake 1 LP

The group’s debut album will be available on vinyl (as originally released in 1999 on CD/LP by Man’s Ruin). In stores August 29th, pre-orders are available now.

Formed in 1996, Goatsnake was an ultra-heavy, blues-doom powerhouse consisting of guitarist Greg Anderson (Engine Kid), vocalist Pete Stahl (Scream, Wool) and the mega rhythm section of Greg Rogers (drums), Guy Pinhas (bass) from underground heavy legends The Obsessed. The band’s tenure has ebbed and flowed for over two decades, leaving behind a legacy of legendary live shows and classic albums and EP’s.

Goatsnake’s classic debut album— appropriately entitled 1 (one)— was originally released by Man’s Ruin Records in 1999 on CD and LP formats. The album featured 8 songs that gracefully combined monolithic, Sabbath-y riffs with soulful vocals to create a monumental introduction to the band, and a style that would be influential for years to come. Southern Lord went on to re-release 1 on double LP format with Goatsnake’s Dog Days EP + bonus tracks as its B-side in 2004, which is long out of print on vinyl (available on CD/Digital).

On August 29th, 2022, Southern Lord will release 1 as a standalone LP. Vinyl (color + black formats) will feature the 8 original tracks as they initially appeared on CD as a permanent essential vinyl classic of the Southern Lord vinyl back catalog.

Preorder 1 now via Goatsnake’s North American web store, European web store, or on Bandcamp (for Juneteeth, a portion of proceeds will go to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund). Revisit 1’s smashing album opener “Slippin’ the Stealth” on YouTube.

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Goatsnake 1 track listing:

  1. Slippin’ the Stealth
  2. Innocent
  3. What Love Remains
  4. IV
  5. Mower
  6. “Dog Catcher”
  7. Lord of Los Felix
  8. Trower
SUNN34-Goatsnake-1 front cover

ANNA VON HAUSSWOLFF ANNOUNCES FULL-BAND LIVE DATES IN OCTOBER

LIVE AT MONTREUX JAZZ FESTIVAL OUT NOW

Anna von Hausswolff has just announced full-band live dates this October in Switzerland, Spain, France and Portugal. Dates and details below, and tickets are available at www.swampbooking.com.

Anna shall be performing songs from The Miraculous, Dead Magic, All Thoughts Fly, including some new pieces also. Expect shifts of hypnotic and mantra-like moods to thunderous drama, dissonance and cacophony, as the musicians wield immense power and master playful dynamics.

ANNA VON HAUSSWOLFF FULL-BAND LIVE DATES IN OCTOBER

5 Oct – Fribourg, Switzerland, Nouveau Monde (tickets)

7 Oct – Montpellier, France, Ex Tenebris Lux Festival (tickets)

8 Oct – Barcelona, Spain, AM Fest (tickets)

9 Oct – Murcia, Spain, Garage Beat Club (tickets)

11 Oct – Madrid, Spain, Cool Live (presales in July)

12 Oct – Sevilla, Spain, Sala Custom (presales in July)

14 Oct – Porto, Portugal, Amplifest (tickets)

16 Oct – Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, Cosmic Fest (tickets)

18 Oct – Paris, France, La Marbrerie (tickets)

This year, Anna von Hausswolff has released the phenomenal live album, Live at Montreux Jazz Festival via Southern Lord and Pomperipossa Records. LP formats of the album available via Southern Lord in North America, and via Pomperipossa Records in Europe.

“Her voice alone sounds like it could tear open the sky at any moment… Like an industrial call to prayer.” – THE QUIETUS

“truly remarkable.” – DISTORTED SOUND

“Sonic majesty” – METAL HAMMER

“it’s unlikely there’ll be a better live album this year.” – AURAL AGGRAVATION

“striking and unconventional” – AVANT MUSIC NEWS

“utterly captivating” – HIGHER PLAIN MUSIC

REVISIT “THE MYSTERIOUS VANISHING OF ELECTRA (LIVE)” AND “THE TRUTH THE GLOW THE FALL (LIVE)” BELOW:

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FOR MORE ON ANNA VON HAUSSWOLFF

BANDCAMP

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

SUNN O))) announce a one-off London show on 22nd June at Fabric

SUNN O))) ANNOUNCE A ONE-OFF SHOSHIN (初心) DUO CONCERT AT FABRIC ON 22ND JUNE IN CELEBRATION OF A NEW SAVAGE PENCIL EXHIBIT

KALI MALONE WILL SUPPORT WITH A LIVE ELECTRONICS SET

THE SAVAGE PENCIL EXHIBIT “DEMO)))NS FOR SUNN O)))” WILL RUN FROM 1ST JUNE TO 2ND JULY AT ATLANTIS BOOKSHOP IN LONDON

TICKETS ON SALE NOW

SUNN O))) have announced a one-off Shoshin (初心) Duo show taking place at Fabric in London on 22nd June, in celebration of a Savage Pencil retrospective exhibit of his many and varied artworks in connection to the band. Kali Malone shall support SUNN O))) with a live electronics set. Ticket link for the show here, further event details here

As one of SUNN O)))’s longest supporters, Edwin Pouncey, a.k.a. Savage Pencil, created the artwork for SUNN O)))’s very first tour poster (“Nunns Have No Sunn O)))”) and has been at every SUNN O))) concert in London, and both BBC Sessions, playing tambura on the 2004 Peel session. In all, he has created more than 20 drawings for the band. 

The exhibition “DEMO)))NS FOR SUNN O)))” is a retrospective of work he has done in collaboration with, or under the influence of SUNN O))). Created between 2003 and 2021, the drawings, prints, posters and various tour ephemera gathered together here are a collection of the artist’s demonic images that were invoked by SUNN O)))’s music on record, live on stage and in the studio. The exhibition shall take place at Atlantis Bookshop, the 100 year-old esoteric bookstore in Bloomsbury, London, opening 1st June to 2nd July.

Photo of Savage Pencil by Guy Pinhas
Photo of Savage Pencil by Guy Pinhas

FOR MORE ON SUNN O))):

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | BANDCAMP

FOR MORE ON SAVAGE PENCIL:

WEBSITEINSTAGRAM

Southern Lord Celebrates Record Store Day 2022 with debut release from THE LORD + re-release from The Catatonics.

Find the albums digitally on Bandcamp + look for them in record stores this weekend.

Greg Anderson Unleashes His First Full-Length Under ‘The Lord’ Moniker

On April 23rd, Southern Lord will release the debut full-length album from The Lord—Forest Nocturne— first as a special LP Record Store Day release, and then on digital and further LP formats on July 29th.

The Lord - Forest Nocturne
Photo by: Al Overdrive

Forest Nocturne sees Anderson (guitarist of SUNN O))), Goatsnake & Southern Lord curator) taking cues from legendary film composers: John Carpenter and Bernard Hermann, in order to create cinematic landscapes which are heavy with tension, and offset by the injection of lethal doses of early 90s Scandinavian Death Metal – with Attila Csihar (of notorious Norwegian black metal band Mayhem & frequent SUNN O))) collaborator) lending his putrid vocals to final track “Triumph of the Oak.”

For Forest Nocturne, Anderson worked with renowned producer Brad Wood. Dan Seagrave‘s epic and fantastical style is instantly recognizable on the album’s startling artwork, something which seems to depict an ancient and unknowable force in the woodlands. Forest Nocturne is described by Anderson as “music of the night,” but inspired by imagery conjured on daytime hikes, and majestic, beautiful trees, which he sees as survivors— perhaps the last known connection that we have to an ancient world, and acting as a connector between past, present and future of the human race and of our time on this planet.

Listen to the official audio for The Lord’s “Triumph of the Oak” on Bandcamp.

Greg Anderson began making music in the mid-eighties with hardcore bands False Liberty and Brotherhood before refining his musicality during the nineties with the post-hardcore collective Engine Kid. From that point on, the musical direction started shifting, channelling his love of tone, riffs and repetitive sound, vital elements that feed into the meditative cosmos of SUNN O))), and the ‘low and slow’ sounds of Goatsnake, both of whom find different ways to move beyond confines and tropes of their respective sound worlds.

In August and September 2021 respectively, Greg Anderson released two singles under the name The Lord; “Needle Cast” with Robin Wattie (the unmistakably emotive vocalist of BIG|BRAVE) and “We Who Walk In Light” with William Duvall (of Seattle rock legends Alice In Chains and hardcore-punk group Neon Christ). Unintentionally moving in a different direction from those bands within which he found his feet, Anderson was able to take on the mantle of The Lord in a new, pictorial approach to heavy music. Through this process, he found himself moved to collaborate with vocalists he admires.

The Catatonics Re-Release their Hunted Down EP on Southern Lord.

Catatonics - Hunted down RSD2022

“The Catatonics were just about the most intense thrash band I’d ever seen back in the day. Just nuts. They out Boston-ed all of the ‘This Is Boston Not LA’ bands. Back then, they were the go-to band in the Syracuse hardcore scene. You pretty much needed their blessings in Upstate NY.” – Kevin Seconds (7 Seconds)

The pioneers of the original Syracuse hardcore scene. Still one of my favorites.. metallic thrash that kills at any time. ‘Hunted Down’ is between SSD and DYS on my shelf.” – Karl Buechner (Earth Crisis)

“‘Hunted Down’ is the sort of record that usually eludes you for one reason or another, but first inhabits crucial minutes of mixtapes, the sweet crackle at the tail end of some die-hard’s radio set, or maybe the pleasant surprise at a DJ night when someone decides to speed things up and you hear and recognize the first few guitar notes of ‘Never Again’ and you get happy ’cause you’re in on the secret of The Catatonics. I managed to score mine in an unlikely place in Toronto, and coveted its arrival into my record collection immediately. For those poor others who haven’t had my luck, the glowing green toothless grin of this record finally has a happy home on wax again!” – Jonah Falco (Fucked Up)

The Catatonics were Syracuse and Central New York’s first hardcore punk band. Besides pioneering the original 1981/1982 Syracuse Hardcore scene, their classic Hunted Down EP is considered one of the first hardcore thrash/metal crossover releases, right up there with COC or DRI and remains a sought after (and pricey) collectors item 30+ years after its release. Often compared to Jerry’s Kids, SSD, Negative Approach and even Slayer, The Catatonics weren’t followers or imitators, more like period contemporaries. Although the wait has been decades in the making, Southern Lord Records will be reissuing Hunted Down available on Bandcamp and as a 12” vinyl release with bonus tracks on Record Store Day, April 23rd. All tracks have been remastered from original sources by Brad Boatright.

Listen to Hunted Down’s title track on Bandcamp.

Syracuse NY, 1981:                                                                                                             

Small town USA, smack dab in the middle of New York State. Although only 5 hours away from NYC, Syracuse and the surrounding area might as well have been 10 years away. Conservative, reactionary, redneck. Reagan’s America. It was a pretty barren place for a young, pissed off NYC transplant and hardcore punk rock kid named Belvy to be stuck in. Teaming up with another similar minded transplant from Florida named Joe Miller, the two hit it off, started writing songs and formed what would become The Catatonics. Frustrated at not being in (and envious of) Boston, DC, LA, or NYC – the 4 teenagers that made up The Catatonics did something about it. They took DIY to heart and willed a scene: putting on shows, putting out ‘zines, putting out releases and most importantly, aggressively encouraging any and all other Upstate and Central New York kids to create scenes and start bands of their own. To put the Syracuse of 1981/82 in perspective: The Catatonics initial shows would often include street musicians to round out the bills – there just weren’t any other punk or hardcore kindred spirits running around (save Cortland’s Suburban Rebels/SFB who Belvy also drummed in). And street musicians were at least better than Grateful Dead cover bands. The original Catatonics lineup of Belvy, Joe, and Louie Arrowhead played all over the Syracuse area during late 1981 and 1982. Usually on school nights. (Belvy and Joe’s high school class mate Farmer Brown replaced Louie shortly after, with Jeff joining soon after that). Belvy, Joe and Farmer would also routinely get sent home or suspended for wearing Dead Kennedys and Circle Jerks t-shirts to school, sincerely baffled as to how anyone could find this offensive. Nights there wasn’t a show (or to celebrate a particularly awesome one), there would be spray painting, breaking and entering, hooliganism, fights, and good natured vandalism. Schools. Bars. Churches. Office Buildings. Bored Teenagers, like the song says. But also curious, ambitious, hungry-for-something-else teenagers.

Fast forward to 1984: 

Syracuse/Central New York now boasted a good dozen+ local bands, an indie record store, multiple all ages spaces for shows, and had really begun to make a mark on the national scene. The Catatonics (and crew) busted serious ass and would wind up bringing some of the best punk and hardcore bands of the era to town. Youth Brigade, Black Flag, 7 Seconds, Gang Green, Suicidal Tendencies, Scream, M.I.A, Die Kreuzen, Husker Du, Necros, GBH, Battalion Of Saints and many more all now regularly hit the previous dead zone known as Syracuse/Central New York. The Catatonics (with Syracuse dragged along) had arrived. They became a much more serious and intense band and after putting out 2 or 3 cassette only releases, recorded and self released the 5 song EP Hunted Down which would feature the classic lineup of Belvy, Joe (now ‘Jack Shit’), Farmer (switching to 2nd guitar), and new bassist Jeff Jacques. Hunted Down made dozens of ‘best of’ lists. Maximum Rock & Roll did a feature on the Syracuse scene, and then one on The Catatonics. They appeared alongside big names like The Germs and Misfits on the super influential Flipside Magazine’s 2nd compilation LP with arguably their finest moment, Descending In E. Things were looking good. The Catatonics kept gigging hard, blowing away bigger established national acts, getting zine covers and more great press. New material was written, early demos for a full length were underway, talks of a U.S. tour were amidst, and then… 

It was gone.

Both musical & personal differences led to The Catatonics breaking up. A lot of it can probably be chalked up to Belvy wanting to go out and see the world and do something bigger (going on to join 7 Seconds, UK Subs, D Generation, Libertine and many more), so who knows what would’ve happened had they stayed the course. But that was then, this is now and Southern Lord Records will soon be reissuing Hunted Down as a 12” vinyl release with bonus tracks on April 23, 2022.