The Obsessed
Premier Concerts and Manic Presents:

The Obsessed

with Howling Giant, Gozu
Doors: 7:00 pm | Show: 8:00 pm
All Ages
Space Ballroom
Hamden, CT

General Admission Standing Room Only

THE OBSESSED

The Obsessed is a rock band. A FUKKING HARD rock band. Since their formation in 1978, they have become known around the world for their influential contribution to the origins and continued legacy of the doom metal and underground hard rock genres. The distinctive vocals and guitar wizardry of founder and driving force Scott “Wino” Weinrich has left a mark on the world of heavy music that continues to inspire.

The Obsessed gained momentum in the Baltimore/DC area of the USA in the early to mid 1980’s during the height of the hardcore punk movement. Often cited as the band that bridged heavy metal and punk together, the band gained the respect of punk heavy weight contemporaries Black Flag, The Bad Brains, and Minor Threat, to name a few. The attitude and spirit of The Obsessed has led many to regard them as “America’s Motorhead”.

Wino went on to join the doom metal giants Saint Vitus as lead singer on seminal albums including 1986’s ‘Born Too Late'‘. In 1990, The Obsessed came back with their eponymous debut album, “The Obsessed”. This album was quickly followed by 1991’s “Lunar Womb” and 1994’s “The Church Within”. All three of these albums shaped and paved the way for future heavy rock bands and the doom scene as it’s known today. Wino’s gift for prose and his never-ending search for truth and meaning allows his words to hit as heavy as the riffs he plays. 

Although The Obsessed went on a hiatus after The Church Within’s release on Columbia records, Wino’s sheer passion and prolific nature led him to pursue many other critically acclaimed projects such as Spirit Caravan, The Hidden Hand, Shrinebuilder and various acoustic releases. Long time fan Dave Grohl (Nirvana/Foo Fighters) specifically asked Wino to perform on Dave’s all-star Probot album, released in 2004. In 2012 Wino rejoined Saint Vitus until the world wide cry for The Obsessed could be denied no longer and in 2016, Wino reunited The Obsessed, once and for all, and has been kicking ass and taking names ever since.

Drummer Brian “Dawg” Costantino joined the band at this time. The band signed to Relapse Records and recorded 2017’s “Sacred”, an album showing The Obsessed back with pure vengeance. Sacred brought the band to venues and festival stages around the world. 

In 2022 the band became a four piece with the addition of Chris Angleberger on bass and Jason Taylor on guitar. The band has been touring heavily since and have been seen on USA and European festival stages such as HellFest, Freak Valley Festival, Snowblind Festival and Desert Fest. 

The band’s forthcoming album, Gilded Sorrow, set to be released early 2024 on Ripple Music, marks a new chapter in their legacy. The album promises to capture the essence of the band’s classic sound while adding a fresh new atmosphere with a dual guitar attack. 

The Obsessed are here to stay. 

IF IT AIN’T HEAVY … IT AIN’T SHIT !!!

Links: Official Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify

HOWLING GIANT

Despite Nashville’s reputation for assembly-line pop country, the town called Music City is a place of deep history, where brilliant songwriters and virtuoso session players keep dozens of musical legacies burning bright. Nashville’s preeminent fuzz-psych power trio Howling Giant live in the pocket of that lineage, and on their eagerly awaited second full-length, Glass Future, they kick out the righteous jams with furrowed determination and wild abandon.

Howling Giant formed in Nashville nearly ten years ago with the union of guitarist/vocalist Tom Polzine, drummer/vocalist Zach Wheeler, and bassist/vocalist Roger Marks. From day one, the trio locked into a musical groove of thunderous metal, proggy acrobatics, psychedelic flourishes and soaring melodic vocals, telling stories of fantasy and adventure with such sheer force of will that they seemed capable of opening a window to other dimensions. Their early years saw a flurry of recorded activity, with an acclaimed self-titled EP in 2015 and an audacious concept piece split across two EPs, 2016’s Black Hole Space Wizard Part 1 and 2017’s Black Hole Space Wizard Part 2.

On the strength of those EPs and a growing, fervent fanbase, Howling Giant set out to bring their arena-sized energy to the people with the hunger of true road dogs. Throughout 2017 and 2018, they crisscrossed the United States, pouring out heart and soul (and sweat) while flying the flag of emotive, intricate heavy rock and roll. This tireless energy eventually brought them to such prominent festival stages as Psycho Las Vegas in 2018 and both SXSW and Psycho Smokeout in 2019. Around this time, Marks left the band and Howling Giant achieved its current form with the addition of bassist/vocalist Sebastian Baltes.

In early 2019, Howling Giant teamed up with Blues Funeral Recordings to release debut full-length The Space Between Worlds, an album which saw the band channel the bristling electricity of their live sound and push further into both cosmic drift and punishing heaviness.

As the COVID-19 pandemic put an embargo on live music, Howling Giant found new ways to connect with their ardent fans. Through a weekly schedule of live-streamed events on Twitch, the band continued to nurture community during an isolating, disorienting time. In addition to Dungeons & Dragons sessions and cooking lessons, Howling Giant opened up their rehearsal process to the fans, streaming writing jams that led to instrumental EP Alteration in 2021 and planted the seeds for their next album.

Now in partnership with Magnetic Eye Records, Howling Giant are poised to release their second album Glass Future.

From the first notes, it’s clear that the band has tapped into the next level of the cosmic vibrations that power them. Tom Polzine’s guitar licks dance across the frets with airy precision and lunge at the listener with red-lined roars. Sebastian Baltes’s bass stalks and coils like a snake and digs deep into mile-wide grooves. Zach Wheeler’s drums are as frantic as they are restrained, tossing out cross-meter fills and stepping out with stuttering snare runs that dare the others to match their bristling energy. Long-time friend of the band Drew Harakal provides crucial accompaniment on organ, piano, and synths, suffusing these future anthems with vintage tones and contemplative depth.

Howling Giant’s not-so-secret weapon is their honey-rich and wisdom-worn vocal attack. With all three members pitching in, Glass Future reaches some of its most glorious highs through soaring, indelible choruses and tight triple harmonies. Lead single “Sunken City” is a roiling, locked-in rocker with a massive chorus hook and searing instrumental break that rides a cresting wave of impossibly triumphant momentum. Whether it’s on the powerful gallop and nasty, swaggering groove of instrumental knockout “First Blood of Melchor” or the loping sprint of the parallel guitar and keyboard leads on the title track, whether the wide-open golden chug of “Siren Song” or the lilting, forlorn psychedelic trip of “Tempest and the Liar’s Gateway,” Howling Giant fires on so many cylinders across these taut 41 minutes that the reeling mind has no choice but to follow their assured stride.

Is Howling Giant’s music like a dream tour of Mastodon and Rush supporting the Beach Boys in 1970? Does Glass Future sound like Queens of the Stone Age, Devin Townsend, and Torche holding a songwriting clinic in Pink Floyd’s backyard? Friend, Howling Giant doesn’t owe you those answers, but their whirlwind new album might give you some new questions to ask, new rivers to cross, new frontiers to explore.

With Glass Future burning a hole in their pocket, 2023 finds Howling Giant setting out on a far-reaching North American tour with Elder and Ruby the Hatchet and playing the illustrious Desertfest Belgium. On Glass Future, they play with the thoughtful, careworn ease of people who know hardship and pain yet decide to press on because that’s the only thing we can do. As they sing on the album’s elegiac closer, “There’s no company, save for those we create.” With this remarkable album, Howling Giant extends a hand, saying: let’s find the future together.

Links: Official Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify

GOZU

It only takes a few seconds exposure to the rolling riffs of opening track “Tom Cruise Control” to be reminded that this is Gozu‘s world, we’re just living in it. Given that it has been five years since the Boston quartet dropped the monstrous Equilibrium, returning with Remedy is one hell of a way to make sure that everyone – whether previously familiar with them or otherwise – realizes that they are perhaps the most badass of American rock bands, for they have taken everything to the next level. “There is a certain maturity mixed with a childlike enthusiasm to play music, and we all are better players now than on Equilibrium,” says vocalist/guitarist Marc Gaffney. “We have all really tried to look at what we enjoy but more what we do not enjoy. Playing music is a gift and when it becomes A Nightmare on Elm St Part 37.3, you are done.” The result is nine tracks of their signature combination of fuzzy 70s inspired riffs, rich, catchy, grunge-esque vocal melodies and a touch of old school trippy psychedelia written and played with the utmost passion and enthusiasm, eclipsing everything else in their catalogue. “The band wanted a very heavy groove-oriented album with singalong choruses. We also wanted sonically to hit you in the chest, like a three-combination, left-right-left, like Micky Ward. Harmonies and melodies were something we really looked at and wanted to shine, and thick guitar tones, driving bass and drums were under the microscope.“

One element that gave the band a kick in the pants going into Remedy was drummer Seth Botos joining Gaffney, guitarist Doug Sherman and bassist Joe Grotto. “Seth brings such an impeccable work ethic and freshness to the band that it was infectious. He is the breath of delicious fresh air the three old men needed. He reminds us of a young Kevin Bacon/Wayne Rooney.” Auditioning drummers ate up some of the time elapsed between records but like for so many bands the biggest obstacle was Covid, which slowed down the whole process. With Gaffney and Sherman writing, recording and emailing each other tunes they slowly worked on Remedy, and this certainly was not to the record’s detriment, given how the finished product turned out. As well as having nothing but praise for Botos, Gaffney is thrilled with the work of his other bandmates. “Joe’s tone and playing in my opinion are the best he has laid down. There is a sense of space and time he achieved that makes the guitars float over, like a comfortable feathered bed. Doug came out of the gate swinging on this album. He had a certain fire that he needed to lay down and prove a point to the listeners of the world. His solos are killing, his tone and rhythm playing are what really shines on the album. There is a crispness that grabs a hold of your auditory system and makes you scream uncle. He had a vision and fulfilled it.”

With a title that has many meanings but is “strong, hits a spot emotionally and is true“, lyrically Gaffney wrote very honest songs that deal with things everyone has most likely dealt with. However, those that made it onto the record could have been very different, having all of them written and then prior to tracking feeling the compulsive urge to rewrite them. “So, ten minutes later, five songs were rewritten, and I think way better. Then two days later, the urge hit me again and seven minutes later I rewrote the next batch.” Those that made the cut are stories of humanity, things the vocalist has witnessed or heard from the mouths of others. “I do not own any muscle cars; I have not spent endless days and nights in the desert with someone named Kip and slayed a dragon. I needed to write about content that really hit me this time. The songs are really open to interpretation on Remedy. I really wanted to write what people go through with a very honest outlook and I am hoping I did it well. It was by far the easiest lyrics I have penned and did not make me want to hide under my bed for days like the last album.“

Recording with honorary fifth member of Gozu, producer/engineer Dean Baltulonis (Death Ray Vision, The Hope Conspiracy) at Wild Arctic studios in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, sessions were unlike any that the band had previously experienced. Botos laid his drums down in just a day and a half, taking all suggestions his bandmates had and putting his signature spin on them, echoing the fact that they were all invested in the process more than ever before. “There was a totally different vibe in these sessions. There was an openness to ask each other to try different things. If they worked, bravo, if not, check please. We knew what we wanted to do and did it. Like anything, if the vibe is off, you are off. There was a sense of easiness on a human level that had not been present the last few times while recording. The vibe was pure and precious for all involved and I think it shows in the tunes.”

The band obviously hope to tour the record after so long off the road, and they would love the opportunity to share the stage with bands they admire. When asked what other unfulfilled goals they have at this juncture Gaffney answers without hesitation: “To always improve, write better, play better, enjoy everything that we are offered and take advantage of it. I feel we are always setting goals for ourselves so we are not stagnant or believe we can’t do more. The goal should always be to have fun, kill it and let the music set people free. The minute we stop setting goals and challenges for ourselves is the minute we have failed.”

Links: Official Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify