THE LORD WEIRD SLOUGH FEG Returns With First Album In Five Years, ‘New Organon’

“I didn’t want to just ‘put out another album,’” begins SLOUGH FEG vocalist/guitarist Mike Scalzi. “I remember telling people that I didn’t want to do another album just to do another album, like so often happens. So, we wrote a lot of songs and only picked the best ones.”

Such was the approach for SLOUGH FEG’s long-awaited tenth studio album, “New Organon”, which will see the light of day via Cruz Del Sur Music on June 14 in European territories and June 21 in North America. “New Organon” also marks the recording debut of drummer Jeff Griffin (who split studio duties with John Dust) and joins Scalzi and longtime members Angelo Tringali (guitar) and Adrian Maestas (bass).

“New Organon” is another definitive statement from one of America’s most enduring and unique true metal bands, whose penchant for THIN LIZZY-inspired guitar harmonies and Scalzi’s timeless storytelling has turned albums such as 2005’s “Atavism”, 2007’s “Hardworlder” and 2010’s “The Animal Spirits” into proto-metal bedrocks.

Since the release of 2014’s “Digital Resistance”, SLOUGH FEG did three touring jaunts through Europe in addition to some shorter American runs, not to mention the release of the “New Organon” seven-inch, which was issued last year. Scalzi freely admits that real life has gotten in the way of SLOUGH FEG making a new LP. That, and his desire to make sure the band still sounds fresh after nine studio albums. “A lot of stuff ended up on the cutting room floor,” he says. “There were some songs we tried to work out for months but ended up dropping because they bored us. We have to be excited about new songs or there’s no point in recording them. We dropped several songs I came up with and some that the other guys came up with, too. It’s tough, but sometimes you have to be honest with yourself and the people in your band and move on when an idea is not working. So, we came up with a lot of song ideas and only kept the ones that sounded exciting for months.”

In true SLOUGH FEG tradition, there is a strong theme running throughout “New Organon”, which was inspired by the 1620 book published by Francis Bacon of the same name. “It presents a new version of the scientific method, as originally presented by Aristotle 2,000 years earlier,” notes Scalzi, who is also a philosophy professor at a college in California. “According to Bacon and others, the science method had remained stagnant for this long period, through the middle ages and renaissance, and needed a refresher. ‘Organon’ refers to a scientific ‘instrument’ or more literally, ‘organ.’ So, it represents a new method for scientific revolution. The songs are all basically about philosophy—from my lecture notes! It starts out talking about primitive tribal society like shamanism as the first philosophers and then proceeds though the pre-Socratics era and then Plato, Aristotle, medieval catholic theology, enlightenment and then existentialist philosophy — mostly in chronological order.”

Fans of the band’s early output when they went under the extended name of THE LORD WEIRD SLOUGH FEG will no doubt be enthused for what’s in store on “New Organon”. The album has a more natural, if not “rustic” feel to it, recalling the band’s halcyon “Twilight Of The Idols” and “Down Among The Deadmen” era. “Very simply, the songs are more heavy, rough and produced rawer than the last album or two,” says Scalzi. “The themes are not about technology, but about ancient philosophy and science. It’s just more metal, but in a very primitive way — but that’s sort of our specialty anyway.”

Around the release date of “New Organon”, SLOUGH FEG will be trekking across the United States with labelmates SANHEDRIN. “We’ll be doing ten shows on the east coast in late May/early June, right about the time when the album comes out, including New York, Boston, Baltimore and Pittsburgh,” says Scalzi. “In early August, SANHEDRIN is going to come out we’ll do another run with them up and down the west coast.”

“New Organon” track listing:

 

  1. Headhunter
  2. Discourse on Equality
  3. The Apology
  4. Being and Nothingness
  5. New Organon
  6. Sword of Machiavelli
  7. Uncanny
  8. Coming of Age in the Milky Way
  9. Exegesis/Tragic Hooligan
  10. The Cynic

 

SLOUGH FEG/SANHEDRIN tour dates:

May 30 – Baltimore, MD, Metro Gallery

May 31- Brooklyn, NY, Saint Vitus

June 1- Montreal, QC, Bar LeRitz

June 2 – Ottawa, ON, Mavericks

June 3 – Toronto, ON, Velvet Underground

June 4 – Pittsburgh, PA, Spirit

June 5 – Detroit, MI, Sanctuary

June 6 – Cleveland, OH, Now That’s Class

June 7 – Philadelphia, PA, Kung Fu Necktie

June 8 – Boston, MA, Middle East

ARGUS “From Fields of Fire” out in September!


Practitioners of traditional metal, harbingers of doom, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania quintet ARGUS are the axiom of time-honored, classic metal. Since their 2009 self-titled debut, ARGUS has enjoyed critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, warranting multiple European tours, festival appearances and stateside showcases. Their 2011 album “Boldly Strides The Doomed” and 2013 follow-up “Beyond The Martyrs” were equal in measure, showcasing the leather-lunged pipes of Brian “Butch” Balich and an uncanny ability to create memorable, epic songs all within the familiar, lauded confines of tried-and-true heavy metal.

After an uncharacteristic four-year break between studio albums, ARGUS is back with “From Fields Of Fire”, set for a September 8 release via Cruz Del Sur Music. It will be the first album to feature guitarist/producer Dave Watson and bassist John Campbell, who join long-time members Balich, Jason Mucio (guitars) and Kevin Latchaw (drums). Recorded throughout various points in 2016 and 2017 at Tonic Studios in Pittsburgh with Watson manning the production board, “From Fields Of Fire” also finds Argus once again teaming up with visual artist Brad Moore for the album’s eye-catching cover art.

“If you had told me in 2013 that it would be four years until the next album, I would’ve been incredulous, but sometimes that sort of thing happens,” says Balich. “We didn’t want to rush the material. Because ARGUS is really a labor of love for us, it will always be that we release music when we are ready and not a second sooner.”

Draped in a warm, crystalline production job, “From Fields Of Fire” is kicked off by the punchy and stout “Devils Of Your Time”. “As A Thousand Thieves” sees the band going full gallop, evoking the glory days of IRON MAIDEN, while the dueling twin-guitar harmonies on “216” captures the instant chemistry between Mucio and Watson.

Elsewhere, the pounding “You Are The Curse”; soaring “Infinite Lives, Infinite Doors” and nimble “Hour Of Longing” offer up a degree of range and diversity emblematic of a band who has long come into its own as songwriters. However, “From Fields Of Fire’s undisputed highlight is the somber “No Right To Grieve”. Perhaps the band’s darkest song to date, “No Right To Grieve” was born out of a song Balich and Watson thought would be better served in a joint project outside of ARGUS. However, it was simply too good to be left off “From Fields Of Fire”.

“The song revolves around the ideas of grief and the consequences of being involved in a relationship that is not out in the open,” notes Balich. “So the song, in a nutshell, deals with a secreted relationship that ends when one of the partners dies and how the person left deals with that loss knowing that to publicly mourn and grieve would reveal the relationship. So they would be left with few options but grieve alone for fear of hurting those who were unaware of the relationship and who are already hurting from the death of this person.”

A bona fide cult favorite in America and in continental Europe, ARGUS’s status as true metal flag-bearers remains firmly intact with “From Fields Of Fire”. If anything else, the band’s steady, gradual career arc proves there is no substitute for quality songwriting and a humble, fan-first approach.

“We hope the fans we have like it as much as we do and that it will have some meaning to them,” concludes Balich. “It’s kind of a waste of energy to concern ourselves much with how well it sells or is received by critics…  Of course we want it to sell well and for it to be well-reviewed, but we are very realistic about the ways of the music business for a band like ARGUS and short of throwing away our jobs or selling our souls, it’s a tough road for a band like ARGUS to make some headway. We’re cool with that. Our goal is to create music with people we enjoy being in a band with. Our goal is to keep clawing for more ears to listen, more faces to be in the crowds at our shows…those are things we hope will happen.”

 

 “From Fields Of Fire” track listing:

1- Into The Fields Of Fire

2- Devils Of Your Time

3- As A Thousand Thieves

4- 216

5- You Are The Curse

6- Infinite Lives Infinite Doors

7- Hour Of Longing

8- No Right To Grieve

9- From The Fields Of Fire

10- You Are The Curse DEMO VERSION (LP BONUS TRACK)

11- 216 DEMO VERSION (LP BONUS TRACK)

12- By Endurance We Conquer LIVE (LP BONUS TRACK)

13- A Curse On The World LIVE (LP BONUS TRACK)

 


ARGUS line-up:

Brian ‘Butch’ Balich – Vocals

Dave Watson – Guitars

Jason Mucio – Guitars

Justin Campbell – Bass

Kevin Latchaw – Drums

 

ARGUS discography:

Argus (– 2009, Shadow Kingdom)

Boldly Stride The Doomed ( – 2011, Cruz Del Sur Music)

Beyond The Martyrs (- 2013, Cruz Del Sur Music)

Death Hath No Coscience ( 7’’ – 2015, Cruz Del Sur Music)

WALPYRGUS stream “Somewhere Under Summerwind” from forthcoming album “Walpyrgus Nights”

We’ve all heard the stories of legendary antics and debauchery backstage at Metal concerts – and while that is exciting to read or gossip about, very often there’s another conversation that happens back there, on the tour bus, or at a local backyard BBQ party over some beers – while you’re hanging out with fellow musicians you respect, blasting a classic Maiden, Lizzy, or Priest album – it’s almost inevitable that someone says “we should jam together sometime” and while this may be well-intentioned or naively inspired, it seldom comes to fruition. WALPYRGUS is an exception.

When these veterans of Twisted Tower Dire, While Heaven Wept, Daylight Dies, and Viper (amongst a long list of many others) broached this subject, it actually came to fruition with a very real mutual ambition and respect for both each others’ talents and the musical influences that made them who they are.
When you hear those passages recalling the aforementioned Maiden, Lizzy, Priest, Fate, etc…it’s truly coming from the hearts of musicians who have been performing this kind of music their entire lives.
The eponymous demo-turned-EP confirmed that these guys were serious but was really only a litmus test merely hinting at what was to come; their debut album “Walpyrgus Nights” represents the full realization of the potential of this dangerous meeting of Metal minds. Hook after hook, cascading guitar harmonies, anthemic soaring vocals, epic unexpected twists and turns abound, this 8 song opus is truly a genuinely inspired, wild, and I daresay fun ride through the annals of classic Hard Rock and early Metal with a distinct personality.
This effort gradually matured over a span of no less than five years and recorded in a variety of locations over the course of two intense years under the guidance of Tom Phillips (While Heaven Wept mastermind) was mixed by longtime collaborator Kevin “131” Gutierrez (Raven, Deceased, Believer) and features the artwork of Gustavo Sazes (Morbid Angel, Arch Enemy, Firewind).

So when the when the stars are right and you’re alone, take a journey, lock the world tight and prepare yourself for the tales of demons, spectres, and witches rising on Walpyrgus Nights!

“Walpyrgus Nights” will be released on compact disc, vinyl (featuring a 56-page comic book with lyrics!) and digital on June 9, 2017.

PRE-ORDER HERE:

Tracklist:
1. The Dead Of Night
2. Somewhere Under Summerwind
3. Dead Girls
4. Lauralone
5. Palmystry
6. She Lives
7. Light Of A Torch
8. Walpyrgus Nights

Musicians:
Jonny Aune – Vocals
Scott Waldrop – Guitars
Charley Shakelford – Guitars
Jim Hunter – Bass
Peter Lemieux – Drums
Tom Phillips – Keyboards, Guitars