SPELLBOOK (formerly WITCH HAZEL) Signs With Cruz Del Sur Music

Cruz Del Sur Music is proud to announce the signing of York, Pennsylvania vintage proto-metal purveyors SPELLBOOK. The band’s debut album, “Magick & Mischief”, is due for release in September.

Originally formed in 2007 under the name of WITCH HAZEL by lead singer Nate Tyson and drummer Nicholas Zinn, WITCH HAZEL had three self-released albums to their credit, “Forsaken Remedies” (2012), “Nocturnity” (2015) and “Otherwordly” (2018). The band, rounded out by guitarist Andy Craven and bassist Seibert Lowe, nearly changed their name before the release of “Otherwordly”, but decided to make the switch to SPELLBOOK when its current formation started writing the material that would become “Magick & Mischief”.

“Eleven years named one thing wasn’t easy to get past, but we realized to take this to the next step it was necessary,” says Zinn. “We liked the idea of having the song ‘The SpellBook’ from ‘Forsaken Remedies’ being the representing name that ties the past, present and future together. We’re very proud of our past, though, and plan to still play some WITCH HAZEL songs live, especially those from ‘Otherworldly’.”

SPELLBOOK was brought to Cruz Del Sur Music directly by the label’s A&R rep and WHILE HEAVEN WEPT main man Tom Phillips who reveals how he was “tipped off” about the band: “A good friend of mine Mike Smith pulled me aside to suggest I check out this band WITCH HAZEL he recently had included as part of a tour package… more or less raving about how good they were…and boy, was he right! In an age where we’ve seen a number of retro-inspired acts rising in popularity that ultimately come across as stale or reeking of gimmicks, WH ticked all the right boxes for even MY jaded ears; equal parts BLACK SABBATH, DEEP PURPLE, B.O.C., ALICE COOPER, and THIN LIZZY – songs so well-crafted and capably performed that I immediately reached out to Enrico saying “We NEED to sign this band immediately!” – because “Magick & Mischief” totally blows away the already awesome “Otherwordly” in every possible way!”

Zinn describes “Magick & Mischief” as the band’s “most dynamic offering yet.” From proto-metal jaunts such as “Wands To The Sky” and “Ominous Skies”, to the epic doom rocker “Not Long For This World” and already-crowd favorite “Amulet”, it’s easy to see why SPELLBOOK is eager to hit the road in support of the album.

“We’re a unique band and we’re proud of that,” closes Zinn. “There is no formula; there are no rules. We write what feels good and we are tapped into a creative high right now, already writing for the next album. However, the release of ‘Magick & Mischief’ in September is priority number one and we’re excited for everyone to hear it. It’s rewarding this label is taking us on and recognizes the potential. We’re thrilled!”.

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STYGIAN CROWN Feat. Ex-MORGION Member Joins CRUZ DEL SUR MUSIC

Cruz Del Sur Music is proud to announce the signing of Los Angeles doom metallers STYGIAN CROWN. The label will release the band’s self-titled debut in May 2020.

STYGIAN CROWN was formed in 2018 by former MORGION and current GRAVEHILL drummer Rhett Davis, who tapped his GRAVEHILL bandmates Nelson Miranda (guitar) and Jason Thomas (bass) to help launch the band. MORBID ECLIPSE guitarist Andy Hicks was the next to join, and with the help of longtime friend Bob Kassing, vocalist Melissa Pinion was discovered after Kassing (who has since sadly passed away) showed Davis a YouTube video of her singing a cover of IRON MAIDEN’s “Hallowed Be Thy Name”.

Jason, Nelson and I have been doing GRAVEHILL for quite a while,” notes Davis. “The three of us had always wanted to do a band in this vein so we started writing music in between commitments for GRAVEHILL. The three of us are fans of Andy’s band, MORBID ECLIPSE, and invited him to sit in with us. His chemistry with Nelson — that Adrian Smith/Dave Murray type of chemistry — you can’t fabricate that. Personally, I admire guitarists who can mesh like that. Melissa also has quite a bit of music to contribute — more than we can keep up with.”

To date, STYGIAN CROWN has only the 2018 “Through Divine Rite” demo to their credit. The demo was initially tracked before Pinion joined the band, but once she laid down her vocals and the mixing and mastering process was complete, the three-song offering quickly started making the rounds in the doom community. It wasn’t too long before STYGIAN CROWN fell into the lap of a familiar face.

“We were initially contacted by Skol Records, but while discussing with [label owner] Bart Gabriel, he handed us over to Tom Phillips of WHILE HEAVEN WEPT to instead work with Cruz Del Sur. It was surreal to find ourselves working with Cruz Del Sur, as an old friend of mine Aesop Dekker (ex-AGALLOCH) recommended the label to me months previously. Just them, nobody else.”

STYGIAN CROWN is currently hard at work on their debut self-titled album. Drums will be tracked at Trench Studios (EXHUMED, HIRAX) with John Haddad. Guitars, bass and vocals will be tracked at Miranda’s home studio, and mixing and mastering will be handled by Mark Kelson of THE ETERNAL’s Kelsonic Studios in Australia.

As for what fans can expect, try this combination on for size:

“It’s a concoction we call ‘CANDLETHROWER,’” enthuses Davis. “We wanted to expand on the approach of bands like CANDLEMASS and BOLT THROWER — our new material combines both. Add Melissa’s vocals, some synth and it’s epic all the way!”

ORODRUIN Ink Deal With Cruz Del Sur Music; New Album Due In October

Veteran Rochester, New York doomsters ORODRUIN have signed with Cruz Del Sur Music for the release of their second full-length album, “Ruins Of Eternity”. The album — the band’s first in 16 years — will see the light of day this October. 

Originally formed in 1998 by John Gallo (guitar), Mike Puleo (bass/vocals), Nick Tydelski (guitar) and Mike Waske (drums), ORODRUIN broke onto the American metal scene with 2003’s “Epicurean Mass”, which remains their lone full-length album to date. From the vintage school of BLACK SABBATH and SAINT VITUS doom with a European twist, ORODRUIN’s penchant for churning riffs and atmospheric passages instantly put them on the global doom metal map. The band issued a split, compilation, demo and EP in ensuing years, all building up to the eventual release of their sophomore album.

According to Gallo, ORODRUIN wrote nine new songs from 2016 to 2018, with a tenth song, “Letter Of Life’s Regret” coming from 2005. The album was tracked throughout 2018 at Wicked Squid Studio and is currently being mixed with the mastering process right around the corner.

“Stylistically, the songs are in the epic doom realm like the master titans of the 1970s, SABBATH and JUDAS PRIEST,” says Gallo. “The songs are a long-awaiting evolution in our writing and chemistry among brothers on a treacherous journey that will finally be unleashed to the masses.  We hope it translates well to the hearts and souls of our fans worldwide.” 

In preparation for the band’s triumphant return to European shores for this fall’s Hammer Of Doom festival, ORODRUIN have enlisted drummer Kevin Latchaw of labelmates ARGUS, who is temporarily manning the drum spot while the band searches for a replacement for Waske, who left ORODRUIN in April of 2018. 

Gallo: “We are extremely honored to be playing the same night as Uli Jon Roth and TROUBLE alongside our classic doom brothers MIRROR OF DECEPTION, SKALD and ATLANTEAN KODEX on the next day, to mention only a few!  We can’t express how amazing it will be to be playing a substantial doom metal festival in Germany again. We hope people enjoy the new material as much as we do playing it.”

ORODRUIN’s addition to Cruz Del Sur adds to an ever-growing stable of excellent doom metal bands. Not only will the partnership expose ORODRUIN to new audiences, it will put them in close company with many bands who they consider contemporaries. “We have been aware of Cruz Del Sur for a while and it seemed like the perfect home for us as we have a more European audience that appreciates our style of doom metal. Plus, it will be great to be alongside our fellow doom friends in WHILE HEAVEN WEPT, SLOUGH FEG and ARGUS.”