It's been a long three years since Witch Mountain's fourth album Mobile of Angels was released. That was the band's third disc for Profound Lore, and the last with vocalist Uta Plotkin, following an action-packed five year run of critically acclaimed albums, festival appearances, and tours that took the band around North America and Europe.
The musical partnership of Rob Wrong (guitars) and Nate Carson (drums) began in 1997 with the founding of Portland, Oregon's first doom metal band. The first time High on Fire and Electric Wizard played in town, they shared the stage with Witch Mountain, and slept on Nate's floor after the show. The first time YOB played in Portland was also supporting WM. Same goes for Agalloch. Friends and peers all.
With as much history and pedigree as WM had developed, Carson and Wrong were loathe to shelve their project, especially considering that the core duo was still intact. Many bassists had spontaneously combusted over the years, but early 2015 brought Justin Brown to the fold. His low end tone and tasteful swagger only solidified the band further. And then there's vocalist Kayla Dixon.
Uta left big shoes to fill, and the tours over the last three years have cemented Kayla's uncanny ability to sing, perform, and write with the band. It was key to Wrong and Carson not to rush back into the studio with a new group. Instead, a family unit began to develop during the 2015 tour with Enslaved and YOB. Then Glenn Danzig called, requesting WM for support on his Blackest of the Black tour. WM fan and supporter Phil Anselmo had a hand in there somewhere too...
After the Danzig tour, Witch Mountain set to work writing a new album, interrupted once more by another full US tour with Saint Vitus and the Skull. By this time, Rob Wrong was also playing guitar with the Skull, holding down double duty with two of America's most classic traditional doom bands, proving that his pyrotechnic hybrid of Hendrix and Iommi is a force to be reckoned with.
And here comes the fruit of these labors. A new band, fronted by a young woman who has been singing, acting, and dancing since she was a small child. Kayla Dixon brings her top tier abilities to a genre little known for such soulful vocal chops. The 2016 single "Burn You Down" (streaming on NPR.org) was a hint at the majesty to come. The self-titled 2018 album is going to cement her place among the greatest singers metal has ever produced.
Witch Mountain still maintains total artistic control. The band is self-managed, self-booked, and owns its entire back catalog.
We are proud to be twenty years in, having never peaked along the way.
Rob Wrong - Nate Carson - Kayla Dixon - Justin Brown www.witchmountain.net
SAOLA has seen its large share of members and genres before officially going public as a metal band, long before their current lineup. Founded by Elliott as a Tool influenced progressive metal band, the band has gone through phases of playing progressive metal, hardcore punk, avant-garde, noise rock, shoegaze, math rock and grindcore, while going through many members until the lineup found itself at a turning point to play metal, being Elliott Cunningham, Ethan Conrad, Alex Harris and Malcolm Luis.
Despite the fact that the boys still struggled to find their sound aside from the crushing riffs of their debut song "The Lieutenant", several shows were booked in Portland, many of which only were put on for close friends of the members. The band found itself sticking with a stoner/doom vibe after Elliott returned to the band from a small hiatus after their first performance at Anarres Infoshop, located in St. John's. Ever since then, the band had officially found their sound, style and official active lineup (Elliott Cunningham, Ethan Conrad, Zack Trani, Malcolm Luis).
SAOLA has been booking bigger venues and getting their name out to the public even more so than before (a SAOLA article can be found in the Willamette Week newsletter, written by Nathan Carson).
The band continues to strive to reach many milestones that await the dark Joy Division influenced Elliott, upbeat bluegrass/classic rock influenced Zack, tasteful Pink Floyd influenced Ethan, and dangerously hard-hitting doom influenced Malcolm. Their long journey has only just started, and have yet to play out of state.
Our debut LP is available on Bandcamp:
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for booking inquiries