PALE DIVINE Brings The Doom To CRUZ DEL SUR MUSIC

Cruz Del Sur Music is proud to announce the signing of Pennsylvania doom mainstays PALE DIVINE.

Founded in 1995, PALE DIVINE has made a name for itself with its time-honored and distinctive take on classic doom metal. Albums such as 2004’s “Eternity Revealed” and 2007’s “Cemetery Earth” cemented the band’s reputation as one of the best pure torchbearers of BLACK SABBATH and SAINT VITUS-styled doom, while their most recent 2018 self-titled album was hailed by Last Rites as “true-blue doom for the truly doomed.”

PALE DIVINE — who comprise of vocalist/guitarist Greg Diener, guitarist Dana Ortt, bassist Ron McGinnis and drummer Darin McCloskey — is currently hunkered down in the studio with producer Richard Whittaker recording their sixth studio album, “Consequence Of Time”, which will see the light of day in May 2020. The album’s artwork will be handled by Brian Tutlo, the man responsible for the eye-catching “Thunder Perfect Mind” and “Eternity Revealed” covers.


“It’s definitely a natural progression but maybe not in the way people might expect, which is one of the reasons we’re excited,” says McCloskey. “We have a new lineup now which includes Dana, whom Greg and I played with in BEELZEFUZZ. Dana has brought a new element to the band that blends perfectly with PALE DIVINE that has helped us take things to the next level.”  

PALE DIVINE came to join Cruz Del Sur Music through a familiar face: WHILE HEAVEN WEPT leader Tom Phillips. The band originally crossed paths with Cruz Del Sur label head Enrico Leccese at the 2018 Hammer Of Doom festival in Germany, but it was Phillips who initiated the proper discussions. After that, according to McCloskey, it was a no-brainer to sign with Cruz Del Sur.

“We had heard great things about Cruz Del Sur from our friends in ARGUS and APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE so we were already familiar and very interested. We discussed things with Enrico and he offered us a great deal. Moving forward, we’re really excited to be part of the Cruz Del Sur Music roster. It feels like we’re part of a family now. This is where we belong.”

PALE DIVINE will be celebrating its 25th year as a band in 2020. McCloskey says the highlights have been numerous, starting with the bands they’ve played with and the people they’ve met over the years, as well as their first trip to Germany in 2005 playing alongside PLACE OF SKULLS and RISING DUST. “In many ways, it always sort of feels like we’re just starting out,” he says. “Every new experience, every new song and new album pretty much reinforces that. We still have a lot of music in us and a lot more to accomplish. It hardly seems like it’s been 25 years, in all honestly. Going overseas for the first time and playing for people who were fans of our music was pretty mind-blowing for us at the time…still is, really. Even our recent trip to Würzburg last year for Hammer Of Doom was an awesome experience as well. Certainly, the chemistry we have in our current lineup has been a big highlight and, of course, signing with Cruz Del Sur!”

Portland, Maine Doomsters OGRE Join Cruz Del Sur Music; ‘Thrice As Strong’ Studio Album Due This Fall

Long-running Portland, Maine doom trio OGRE has signed with Cruz Del Sur Music for the October release of their forthcoming fifth studio album, “Thrice As Strong”. The album was tracked with Rowan Bishop at Garage Mahal Recording in Westbrook, Maine.

Practitioners of traditional doom with a mix of ’70s rock and proto metal, OGRE was formed in 1999 by Ed Cunningham (bass/vocals), Ross Markonish (guitar) and Will Broadbent (drums). To date, the band has released four studio albums, with 2014’s “The Last Neanderthal” their most recent. OGRE came to the attention of Cruz Del Sur through classic word of mouth — a handful of Cruz Del Sur bands put in the good word for OGRE to label owner Enrico Leccese

“Once we started working on this album, we posted a few messages on social media, reaching out to any potential labels that might be interested in working with us this time around,” says Markonish. “Will started up a correspondence with Butch Balich from ARGUS who then put us in touch with Tom Phillips of WHILE HEAVEN WEPT, who works closely with Enrico. We played with WHILE HEAVEN WEPT years ago at a doom festival in Rochester, New York and we’ve also shared the stage with other Cruz artists, including ARGUS and APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE, so we couldn’t be happier to share a label with all those great bands, not to mention SLOUGH FEG, another favorite!”

Since the release of “The Last Neanderthal”, OGRE has kept themselves busy with shows in Portland, while working on the material that would eventually become “Thrice As Strong”. The band even found time to make their impact abroad: “One particularly cool thing that we did recently was travel to Arkhangelsk, Russia in October of last year to play the Belomor-Boogie Festival, a Russian rock festival that currently is in its 25th year of existence,” notes Markonish. “Arkhangelsk is the sister city of our hometown of Portland, Maine, so it was an amazing experience to travel across the globe and represent the Portland scene for the people of Russia. We made a ton of new friends and fans out there!” According to Markonish, the “Thrice As Strong” album title plays off OGRE’s power-trio formation and is taken from their namesake song, “Ogre”, which is the first track on their first album, “Dawn Of The Proto-Man”, which is also where “The Last Neanderthal” title came from. “As our fans know, we really like all of these self-referential details, as it sort of builds up the concept of an ‘OGRE Universe’. Not surprisingly, we are all fans of comic books, sci-fi and horror novels/movies, and bands like RUSH, who specialize in those sorts of geeky things.”

OGRE is recording with Bishop because of his “good set of ears” and the stripped-down feel of Garage Mahal Studios. Markonish says the new songs are not a departure from the band’s vintage sound, but fans can expect a few different influences this time around.

“When we first started working on this album, our original plan was to try to keep song lengths down a bit,” he says. “Reason being, our prior albums all featured at least one song in the 10-15-minute range, never mind our concept album, ‘Plague Of The Planet’, which consists of a single, 37-minute song! While that proved difficult (a couple songs on this album stretch into the 8-minute range), it still did inform our general approach to songwriting this time around. 

“I would also say that there is a bit more of an ‘80s metal influence on these tracks — some MAIDEN, a little DIO perhaps, and also some of the more underground bands of the time, like CIRITH UNGOL and MANILLA ROAD. Rowan even said he heard a little MERCYFUL FATE on some of the songs! The way I put it to someone, while our prior albums were majorly influenced by ’70s-era PENTAGRAM, this one shares some of its sound and ethos with the Victor Griffin ’80s line-up that produced the ‘Relentless’ and ‘Day Of Reckoning’ albums.”

CRUZ DEL SUR MUSIC Invades DOOM OVER VIENNA Festival

When it launched in 2006, Doom Over Vienna was a small festival that featured five bands in one evening — hardly the staggering multi-day adventures Europe typically offers metalheads. But, like any festival worth its salt, it continued to grow to the point where organizers had to tack on a second day in 2012, cementing it as the European autumn doom destination. For the 13th installment, set to take place November 9-10 at Viper Room Vienna, Doom Over Vienna will have a decidedly distinct flair when three of Cruz Del Sur Music’s best doom bands, APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE, HANDS OF ORLAC and KING HEAVY, partake in the festivities.

Festival organizer Jürgen Dickstein says the decision-making process for Doom Over Vienna is a difficult one since he’s often flooded with requests from bands to play the festival. “For our festival, I’m always in search for something special, something that has its unique sides and edges and something that touches me in one way or the other, whether it be from songwriting, sound or taking a special approach to music. Also, a rather important point is that I mainly choose bands that did not or very seldom play in Vienna or Austria, so we always had a lot of bands who played at our festival the first time outside their country, first time in Austria/Vienna or over here for the first time since quite a while. So, it’s always a longer process of finding a lineup completed by bands that I want to play, also considering the circumstances of a very low festival budget, which makes it hard to book all the bands you want to have here.”

Jürgen was familiar with all three Cruz Del Sur bands prior to booking them for Doom Over Vienna. APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE are already festival veterans, having played the 2016 installment. He caught HANDS OF ORLAC at Dublin Doom Days and Doom Over Scania and has seen KING HEAVY at Malta Doom and Escape Metalcorner, making it an easy choice to bring all three over for 2018. “I’ve known the label for a long time as Cruz Del Sur always has fantastic bands in its stable,” says Jürgen. “So, I have quite some records of this label at home! I’m very happy it’s three of them playing this year as well. Additionally, it’s an honor [Cruz Del Sur owner] Enrico will be at the festival this year — I’m looking forward to meeting him in Vienna.”

Doom Over Vienna 2016 marked APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE’s first-ever appearance on European soil. Since then, they’ve released their new LP, “From Gold To Ash”, which was hailed by Angry Metal Guy as “an album full of riffs, melancholy and a complete lack of pretension.” Drummer Corey Webb says festival-goers should expect a raw and unfiltered version of APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE, who, heading into 2019, will head back into the rehearsal room to work on new songs in addition to more festival dates.

“I think having a bit of familiarity with the club and the arrangements will be beneficial, actually,” he says. “There are so many other great bands that we are also looking forward to seeing and this year, we will have a bit more time to see the city, which will be great. The setlist is shaping up to include a good amount of material from the new album, but there are also a couple of surprises from the early days, including a song that we have only performed live a handful of times in this band’s existence. Anyone who has spent a bit of time with the new album knows that it is heavy in an emotional way as well as sonically, which translates very well in a live setting.  Expect to be doomed!”

HANDS OF ORLAC are still supporting their well-received 2017 split with THE WANDERING MIDGET and have since added a fifth member to their lineup. The band was originally asked to play Doom Over Vienna a few years ago, but were unable to do so due to their relocation to Sweden. However, bassist The Templar says the band are eagerly awaiting their appearance, after which, they’ll resume work on their third full-length album.

“We’ve waited impatiently until we got invited again,” he notes. “It’s going to be great to see so many good bands, old friends and be at one of the top doom metal festivals in the world. Since we’re now playing as a five-piece, we’ll play some new material. It’s a different sounding band compared to the recent and far past times. But according to our three leading rules, the show is going to be horror-filled, heavy and mind-affecting as it is supposed to be.”

 

With their new “Guardian Demons” album still fresh in the minds of the doom scene, KING HEAVY is looking to follow in the footsteps of fellow Chilean bands who have played Doom Over Vienna like POEMA ARCANUS. Bassist Daniel Pérez Saa says KING HEAVY has prepared a special set for the festival, with heavy emphasis on “Guardian Demons” as well as their previous studio offerings. Heading into 2019, Saa says KING HEAVY has already started thinking about a new album, but will continue to spread their word of doom across Europe.

“It’s an honor to be a part of the festival,” he says. “We’re eager to share the stage with bands close to us like IRON VOID, who we toured with in 2015. We’re also excited to play alongside APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE and MIRROR OF DECEPTION, among others. We are a band that is very concerned about our performance onstage. Our sound has grown to devastating levels of late, something we noticed during our recent dates in Chile. Without a doubt we are a band that excels in the live setting and I think that shows in our attitude and sound.”