Brian Cook : From Torment to Glory 

After his beloved gear was stolen during a recent tour, the bass pedal guru quickly found the music world rallying around his band Russian Circles. 

Through the entirety of his three-decade career, bassist Brian Cook has made a name for himself by delivering brutal and powerfully effected tones while creating innovative music across heavy genres. Based in Seattle, Washington, Cook got his start with his influential mathcore band Botch in 1993, until the group disbanded in 2002. He then went on to form the experimental post-hardcore outfit, These Arms Are Snakes until he was recruited by Chicago instrumental rockers Russian Circles in 2007. As of recent, when he’s not in the studio or on the road with Circles, he’s busy playing in his sludge metal trio Sumac and releasing solo material under the moniker Torment & Glory, whose debut album We Left a Note with an Apology was released back in August of 2021. The thread through all his numerous projects is his distinct playing, his creative riffs, and his wild use of effects, which he expertly hones in ways that few bassists can. His prized gear – including his rare basses, amps, and many obscure pedals – has all been hand-selected throughout his impressive career, which is why he was devastated when he was robbed of it on his most recent tour.

Full interview via


Last month, Astral Noize packed its bags and boarded a comically short flight to the Netherlands to attend Roadburn Festival 2022. As the first in-person edition of the celebrated event since 2019 many were simply thrilled to be attending at all, but never one to play it safe the festival has continued to diversify and expand its own definition of heaviness; consider this year’s introduction of a bona fide jazz stage, or the incredible performances of UK Grime MCs Flowdan and Logan playing alongside The Bug. 

We spoke to a number of the artists playing across the four day event, and in the coming days and weeks will be sharing these discussions under the banner Roadburn Recall. 

Below you’ll find our first interview, with Ben Verellen of Helms Alee

So, on Roadburn and the fact that this is your first rest date since the festival. My first question really is, how is the ‘romance’ of being on the road in ‘22? How does it feel to be back at it? 

Ben Verellen: That’s been the big question. And, you know, we hadn’t done any kind of travelling to do music, obviously, for the last three years. So on paper it sounds dreamy, tagging along with our good buddies in Russian Circles. And in Europe, where touring is so well accommodated compared to the States. We’re very much in the comfort of a best case tour scenario for guys like us. So it all sounded like it was going to be dreamy, but then there was the fear of, well, how’s it gonna feel? To be really out there and really away from home and just sitting in a van all day, how’s that gonna feel? All my memories are the best parts of it, but then getting back down to it and then inserting additional stress and anxiety around COVID stuff, it’s kind of a question mark, sort of looming. But, you know, we’re three weeks into about a six week tour. And the conversations have all been about how amazing it’s been. 

And also, we’re a few years older than last time we did this kind of thing. So there’s that as well. It’s another factor. So we’re figuring out how some of that has played into different ways to do things, how hard to hit it, trying a little more self care. Self preservation is kind of part of the calculation these days, but we all seem to be keeping our head’s on, and still having a good time. So it’s awesome, it kind of forces you to solve some problems that probably could have been dealt with a few years earlier. Like maybe we shouldn’t go out all night, or at all, maybe you should just kind of keep it together. Because tours are exhausting enough as it is, but it’s always tempting to be like, oh I can see all these old friends and catch up! We’re finding a balance. 

Full interview via



Emma Ruth Rundle’s second installment in her Electric Guitar series, EG2: Dowsing Voice, is like the soundtrack to a film that hasn’t been made. The mostly instrumental record follows her on a trip to the Welsh coast and down a magical well into the waters of nature, myth and the Old Golds - by way of her improvised music. The 40 plus minute album was sewn together from recordings channeled during her month-long solo journey in the early days of 2020 and completed before 2021’s critically lauded album Engine of Hell was even written. 

Unlike Electric Guitar One, EG2: Dowsing Voice features vocal improvisation, unconventional singing and extended vocal techniques free from lyrics - like the throat singing on “In the Cave…” which is meant to be the voices of crones gathering in a rhythmic and physical ritual. Rundle was led to these voices by unseen forces along with the immense impact of the Welsh water: ocean, rivers springs and wells that gave the album its extended title Dowsing Voice. While there is some focus on vocal and story here, her textural and even bombastic guitar improvisations are featured throughout the album. The album is accompanied by a massive body of visual artwork Rundle created in her studio upon returning to the states in an attempt to further flesh out the world and beings she encountered in the landscapes and music during her trip to Wales. The blood self-portrait on the cover is from this series and is meant to capture the moment after rebirth. For Rundle, the Electric Guitar series will always be about inspired, unplanned moments like this at its core.



Emma Ruth Rundle will be joined by the talented cellist and composer Jo Quail during her EU/UK tour 2022. Full dates below. 


Emma Ruth Rundle EU/UK TOUR with special guest Jo Quail 

Jul 5 Lisboa PT Culturgest * 

Jul 6 Porto PT Casa da Música SOLD-OUT * 

Jul 7 Leiria PT CDIL Igreja da Misericórdia SOLD-OUT * 

Jul 9 Lille FR The Black Lab 

Jul 10 Rennes FR Antipode 

Jul 11 Paris FR Théâtre L’Européen 

Jul 12 Dampierre-Les-Bois FR Le Temple 

Jul 14 Bruxelles BE Botanique Museum SOLD-OUT 

JUL 15 Ghent BE Boomtown Festival 

Jul 16 Nijmegen NL Stevenskerk 

Jul 17 Berlin DE Passionkirche 

Jul 19 Hamburg DE Übel & Gefärlich 

Jul 20 Leipzig DE UT Connewitz 

Jul 21 Bochum DE Christuskirche 

Jul 22 Wiesbaden de - Hessisches Landesmuseum 

Jul 24 Sion CH Palp Festival * 

Aug 11 Birmingham UK Bradshaw Hall 

Aug 12 Leeds UK Brudenell Social Club 

Aug 13 Newcastle UK Gosforth Civic Theatre 

Aug 14 Glasgow UK Mackintosh Queen’s Cross 

Aug 16 Belfast UK St. Patrick’s Parish 

Aug 17 Limerick IE Dolan’s Music Hall 

Aug 18 Dublin IE St. Ann 

Aug 20 Bristol UK ArcTanGent Festival 

Aug 21 Manchester UK Stoller Hall 

Aug 22 London UK Clapham Grand 

Aug 23 Brighton UK Komedia 

*ERR only 

Info / Tickets:


The new Wovenhand music video for '8 of 9'. The 4:29 minutes long song is taken from the current album "Silver Sash", which was released Feb 4 via Glitterhouse Records. 

The new album is the first Wovenhand opus completely written in cooperation with Chuck French, who is also known as a guitarist for aggressive Emocore outfit Planes Mistaken For Stars. Both know each other for ages. 

"Light some candles, light up a fat spliff, and prepare to get weird" says Chuck about '8 of 9'. 

9 new songs in total were recorded that despite their power and heavyness have lost nothing of its magic and hypnotics Powerful, subtile and intensly deep. Uniting the calm and mystic side of the early Wovenhand years with the straight forward yet still magic songs of his latest albums. 

Over the last two decades, his prolific work in both Wovenhand and the legendary 16 Horsepower has influenced and inspired a generation of musicians throughout the expansive alternative music world. The band cannot be described in traditional terms. Their sound is an organic weavework of neo-folk, post rock, punk, old-time, and alternative sounds. All coming together as a vehicle for David's soulful expression and constant spiritual self exploration. Sometimes sad and sorrowed and at other times uplifting, Wovenhand are always unforgettable in spirit and sound. 


Wovenhand 'Silver Sash' out now:

Tyler Bates and Chelsea Wolfe on Creating the Dark, Funky X Soundtrack 

The horror film fandom has been on the edge of its seat for X, director Ti West’s first full-length feature since his 2016 Western In a Valley of Violence. The A24 film is more than a love letter to the greatest horror films of all time — it paves a creative, innovative, and shocking path all of its own. 

The same can be said of its score, which was created in a collaboration between legendary horror composer Tyler Bates and goth rock queen Chelsea Wolfe, alongside composer/producer Ben Chisholm. X’s accompanying lush score is perfect for the envelope-pushing, star-studded film. 

Set in 1979, X tells the story of a group of aspiring filmmakers and stars (including Mia Goth, Jenna Ortega, Brittany Snow, and Kid Cudi) who head deep into rural Texas to create the ultimate porn film. Things take a sinister turn when the owners of their rental home discover their plans.

As the X Original Motion Picture Soundtrack arrives on vinyl today (May 3rd), Bates and Wolfe have answered all of our questions about the origins of the score and their creative process. 

Full interview via


An exhibition of selected works by multi disciplinary artist Emma Ruth Rundle from her forthcoming concept album and book titled Dowsing Voices. Works will be available for sale as well as a batch of books that sold out immediately upon release via Sargent House.

Emma Ruth Rundle - 'Dowsing Voice' Art Exhibition 

Friday, May 20, 2022 
7:30 PM  10:30 PM 

Lethal Amounts
LLC1226 West 7th Street
Los Angeles


More info:


Seattle three-piece Helms Alee has released a new album Keep This Be The Way available via Sargent House. Across the span of their first five studio albums, the trio zeroed in on different aspects of their sound - a blend of lilting siren songs, crushing Northwest thunder and sludge, angular econo-rock, and heady guitar pop while retaining their no-frills, meat-and-potatoes approach in the studio. But with this Helms Alee have expanded their palette by delving into the production possibilities afforded by recording the album themselves, creating their most dynamic and technicolored work to date. 

When the pandemic hit, guitarist/vocalist Ben Verellen, bassist/vocalist Dana James, and drummer/vocalist Hozoji Matheson-Margullis found refuge in their music and bunkered down in a makeshift studio in Verellen’s amplifier shop. Through the remainder of 2020 and into early 2021, the band wrote an album as a distraction from the surrounding turbulence, recording songs with the assistance of Ron Harrell as they were writing them, composing the material with the added benefit of hearing them come together from the engineer’s chair. Keep This Be the Way still very much sounds like a Helms Alee record, but it’s their first album that diverts from the faithful recreation of their live sound and delves into a vibrant tapestry of surreal sounds and invented spaces. 

This new approach is immediately evident on album opener “See Sights Smell Smells,” where reverse cymbal crashes, fragmented piano, layered drums, woozy drones, saxophone freak-outs, and trippy vocal treatments transport the listener to an altered state of exhilarated anticipation. The song basks in studio manipulations before depositing the listeners on the shores of the title track. “Keep This Be the Way” adheres closer to standard Helms Alee operating procedures with sparkling guitar arpeggios, syncopated drum patterns, and beguiling vocal melodies in the verses juxtaposed against blown-out bottom-heavy riffs and roaring harmonies in the choruses, until the song descends into a smoky mélange of groaning bass and air-raid siren whines in the final measures. Much like the self-recorded swan song of Unwound Leaves Turn Inside You, Keep This Be the Way showcases an ability to walk the line between studio experimentation and faithful representations of the organic core of the material.

Streaming here:



Earth is going on tour in the US on a co-headline with ICEAGE.

Sep 21 Brooklyn,NY - The Brooklyn Monarch 

Sep 22 Jersey City,NJ - White Eagle Hall 

Sep 23 Washington,DC - Black Cat 

Sep 24 Pittsburgh,PA - Spirit 

Sep 25 Columbus, OH - Skully's 

Sep 26 Detroit,MI - El Club 

Sep 28 Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle 

Sep 29 Minneapolis, MN - Fine Line 

Sep 30 Omaha, NE - Slowdown 

Oct 01 Kansas City, MO - Record Bar 

Oct 03 Denver,CO - Marquis 

Oct 04 Boulder, CO - Fox Theatre 

Oct 05 Albuquerque, NM - Launchpad 

Oct 06 Tuscon, AZ  Club - Congress 

Oct 09 Los Angeles,CA - The Regent 

Oct 10 Santa Cruz, CA - The Atrium at Catalyst 

Oct 11 San Francisco,CA - Great American Music Hal 

Oct 13 Portland,OR - Aladdin Theatre 

Oct 14 Tacoma, WA - Alma Mater 

Oct 15 Seattle,WA - Substation



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