These days, when Bobby Liebling sings “These are gonna be my last days here…” he really means it. The dude looked like death warmed…
Last weekend, I was in Ottawa for the All That Is Heavy II doomfest, a six-band shindig featuring Blood Ceremony, Iron Man and Revelation, to name a few. This was the second notable doom-metal festival in Canada over the past few years, after Montreal is Doomed in December 2010, which happened to be Pagan Altar’s North American debut. (That was quite the nite for me, too!) So, when are we gonna see one of these things in Toronto? Don’t hold your breath…
Although he came off as a coked-out space cadet on the two occasions I’ve seen him perform, and I’ve read many an interview where he clearly appears to be off his rocker, I can safely say that Bobby Liebling is not on drugs. Because I’ve seen him on drugs, in the Last Days Here documentary, and he looked a lot worse than he does now.
Canadian Music Week has always been the first weekend in March, and as such, I’ve adjusted/cleared my schedule accordingly for the past few years. But this year, they’ve decided to make a change, moving the event to the fourth weekend of the month. The official reasoning I’ve heard is they want to have it after SXSW, as if that would entice more bands to come up and play here. Hey, there are tons of amazing metal bands that just played SXSW–and I don’t see a single one on the bill for Canadian Music Week.
If Black Sabbath are the grandfathers of doom, Trouble would be one of its uncles (along with Candlemass, Saint Vitus and Witchfinder General). But while grandpa’s mad ravings have been grabbing headlines lately, what with the whole Bill Ward fiasco, Uncle Trouble has been through quite the shakeup himself. In fact, it seems that there’s not one, but two Troubles nowadays. Say what?
When The Screams Come is a great visual document of the band that will be as entertaining to longtime fans of the band as it will be to newcomers. It’s not the flashiest, it’s certainly a warts-and-all type performance, but it captures a historically important band in their background getting the kind of adulation they deserve.
Take this posting about the new Pagan Altar/Mirror of Deception split 7″, for instance, in which PA bassist Manny Cooke reveals that the song his band contributes is a guide track–not the full lineup, just Al & Terry Jones with a drum machine. What happens next can only be described as a flame war of epic proportions, the best bit of doom drama not involving Bobby Liebling since Andy Beresky’s epiphany.
Last Rites is the album that many of us had hoped Pentagram would someday make but never thought they would. It is heavy, hooky and one of the nicest surprises of 2011.
Let’s put it this way: if you’re expecting a true doom record from one of the masters, you will be disappointed.