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Psycho California Day 1 recap Eyehategod, Bedemon, Cave-In, Old Man Gloom, Bell Witch, Municipal Waste

2 June 2015 No Comment


Psycho California Festival
Day 1 recap
05-15-2015 @ The Observatory
Santa Ana, CA
Photos & Review: Jeff Longo

Doom metal fans from around the globe trekked to Southern California for the third annual Psycho California Festival held at the Observatory in Santa Ana. The three day festival was hosted by Thief Presents who assembled an unprecidented line up of over fifty bands performing across two stages. San Jose stoner metal titans Sleep, 70’s doom pioneers Pentagram, NOLA’s sludge overloads EYEHATEGOD, Savannah Georgia’s psych/sludge Kylesa, Oakland psychedelic trio OM were the more well known acts anchoring each night along with special/rare appearances that made this a truly unique event.

Click the links below for a recap of each day along with photo sets for each band.

Day 1 Recap/Photos: Eyehategod, Bedemon, Cave-In, Old Man Gloom, Bell Witch, and Municipal Waste
Day 2 Recap/Photos: Sleep, Kylesa, Pallbearer, Earth, and The Shrine
Day 3 Recap/Photos: Pentagram, OM, Truckfighters, Earthless, Bongzilla, Tombs, and The Well

Day 1 Photos:: Bedemon
Day 1 Photos:: Municipal Waste
Day 1 Photos:: Old Man Gloom

I arrived at the venue and immediately made my way to the Monarch Stage. I walked in as Boston’s space rockers Cave-In were halfway through their set. An amalgamation of Converge, Pink Floyd, Tool/A Perfect Circle, and Rush and arguably the most diverse act of the weekend. The quartet’s ten song set, culled from releases Jupiter and Until Your Hear Stops (Hydra Head), smashed all genre labels and definitely my expectations. Each song displayed their evolution from early metalcore to melodic, psychedelic, prog space-rock while keeping one foot firmly planted in their hardcore roots.

Cave-In - Psycho California

Cave-In – Psycho California

Fans flocked to the main stage for a very special performance by 70’s doom pioneers Bedemon who were playing their first live performance, ever at Psycho California. A side project by OG Pentagram members Bobby Liebling, Geof O’Keefe, and Randy Palmer, whose early seventies demos would years later help birth the doom genre. Unfortunately vocalist Bobby Liebling would not be performing this night, instead Saint Vitus/Obsessed vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich was recruited joining Geof O’Keefe (Pentagram, Bedemon) on guitar, and Greg Mayne (Pentagram) on bass for this historic moment. It was great to see these guys perform songs they wrote over forty years ago and thought they played great for their first live gig. An emotional Geoff OKeefe dedicated the set to recently deceased founder Randy Palmer before closing with Child of Darkness.

Check out our photos of Bedemon here

Bedemon - Psycho California

Bedemon – Psycho California

Up next was Virginia thrashers Municipal Waste who were added to the bill at the last minute when headliners Cult of Luna canceled due to visa issues. Singing odes to partying, drinking, and food fights the thrash-meisters from Virginia seemed like the oddball on the bill but provided an unexpected “speedball” effect in contrast to most of the acts. Their fast tempo’d crossover thrash reminiscent of early D.R.I. felt invigorating and ignited the first mosh pit of the weekend. “And this is how we turn your boring party into art.”

Check out our photos of Municipal Waste here

Municipal Waste

Municipal Waste

In the courtyard Seattle two piece Bell Witch were telling ghost stories with their blend of frightening, suffocating Funeral doom. The complete antithesis of the thrashing i just left, slow, seemingly endless riffs invoking death and despair.

Old Man Gloom

Old Man Gloom

Boston’s Old Man Gloom made a very rare live performance and were hands down the heaviest band of the night. A supergroup of sorts featuring Aaron Turner (ISIS), Santos Montano along with Caleb Scofield (Cave-In) and Nate Newton (Converge, Doomriders). A sonic assault of apocalyptic, post-hardcore, ambient, noise, heavy sludge that pummeled the crowded room for over an hour. Check your expectations because you have never heard shit like this. Check out their latest release The Ape of God (2014 Profound Lore), which was released as three different studio albums on Profound Lore.

Check out our photos of Old Man Gloom here

Eyehategod

Eyehategod

NOLA sludge kings Eyehategod laid down molasses thick sludge from the swamps of New Orleans. Front man Mike Williams solicited the audience the change between songs which as hilarious. My first time seeing these guys and Mike sure looks like he’s seen better days but his vocals & the band’s performance were spot on as they ripped through cuts from their Housecore Records self-titled new album Eyehategod released in 2014, the first in 14 years. New tracks New Orleans is the New Vietnam, Parish Motel Sickness, & Framed to the Wall are sure to be instant classics. See below for Eyehategod photos.

Eyehategod

Psycho California Fest

psychotimesMay15


TOP OF PAGE

Day 1 Recap/Photos: Eyehategod, Bedemon, Cave-In, Old Man Gloom, Bell Witch, and Municipal Waste
Day 2 Recap/Photos: Sleep, Kylesa, Pallbearer, Earth, and The Shrine
Day 3 Recap/Photos: Pentagram, OM, Truckfighters, Earthless, Bongzilla, Tombs, and The Well

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