Friday Full-Length: Neurosis, The Eye of Every Storm

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

 

So much soul. I have a theory about NeurosisThe Eye of Every Storm — or at very least a kind of fantasy incarnation. It’s basically every song on the album redone by Nina Simone. It would work. Absolutely, not a doubt in my mind, it would work. Think of the arrangements. Think of lines like, “I came to a pile of ashes and sifted through it looking for teeth,” and “So I crawl through the hailstones/My eyes fixed on my return.” It would be amazing, and it would totally, totally work. There is so much soul in this record.

The Eye of Every Storm was released in 2004 as the eighth Neurosis full-length, and it remains a forward-thinking entity unto itself. At that point, the Oakland-based outfit had already blazed a trail through what would continue to become post-metal largely in their wake, records like 1993’s Enemy of the Sun and 1996’s Through Silver in Blood solidifying the progression and approach of 1992’s third outing and pivot away from their hardcore punk beginnings, Souls at Zero (reissue review here), first began. Each of those was crucial in its way, and I’d say the same of 1999’s Times of Grace, but The Eye of Every Storm followed the genre-defining 2001 offering, A Sun That Never Sets (discussed here), and managed to push even beyond that collection’s scope. Comprised of eight tracks for a mammoth and immersive 68-minute runtime, it also was the first pure Neurosis full-length through their own label, Neurot Recordings, though they’d done the two Official Bootleg releases, the Short Wave Warfare live album, and — most relevant — the 2003 collaboration Neurosis & Jarboe, through the imprint as well.

If one looks at Neurosis‘ career as a narrative arc, each album seems to step beyond the last in one direction and/or another. 1990’s The Word as Law built on their 1988 debut, Pain of Mind; Enemy of the Sun built on Souls at Zero, etc. Fine. In that regard, The Eye of Every Storm is another step outward on the part of Neurosis from any sort of delineation of who they “should be.” It was a record that droned as much as it raged, that delivered itself with a patience that even three years earlier was unobtainable, and from the crashing samples Noah Landis brought to opener “Burn,” it was a release of such nuance and sonic detail that 14 years later, one can still listen to it twice and hear something difference each time. Atmosphere of course always played a role in their work, but it was the first time Neurosis were able to make ambience as heavy as the crushing, churning rhythms and tonality that remain a hallmark of their sound.

Following the memorable push of “Burn” and the sweep of “No River to Take Me Home,” the title-track’s near-12-minute reach unfolds a spacious beginning and drops to minimalist bass swells and neurosis the eye of every stormsynth as a bed to execute a build so subtle that one doesn’t even realize what’s happening until it’s already happened. It’s plenty heavy by the finish, but not raging, and though the subsequent “Left to Wander” starts out somewhat manic, after its first minute, it drops to a vast soundscape populated by sparse guitar and a whispered verse. Trades between loud and quiet spaces are common enough in Neurosis‘ style, and certainly in the styles of many of those who’ve taken influence from them, but The Eye of Every Storm smooths the transitions between them to be no more stark than precisely how the band intends: “Left to Wander” lurches to life in its chorus twice before the song hits its halfway point and turns to one of the album’s most outwardly heavy instrumental progressions, marked by tense, rubber-band-about-to-snap-except-it’s-an-arm-tendon toms from drummer Jason Roeder and a wash of guitar noise from Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till as Landis on keys and Dave Edwardson on bass seem to hold the proceedings together before the track devolves into a wash ahead of the instrumental “Shelter,” something of a five-minute interlude that nonetheless proves hypnotic early before arriving at a heavier shove in its second half.

I refuse to discount either “Bridges” or “I Can See You” at the end of the album. Particularly the latter is an epilogue that’s essential to the atmospheric impression The Eye of Every Storm leaves behind when it’s over. But for me, the crux has always been in “A Season in the Sky.” As much a narrative poem as it is a song, it begins with, “I had a vision last night…” and from there elucidates a desolation that is nothing short of consuming. The vocals, atop quiet guitar at first, later cutting through undulating riffs, lead initially to a weeping guitar lead that’s the perfect complement to — and here we are — the bare soul on display throughout. The soul. Neurosis are so often misread as cerebral, and while I’ll argue their progression is conscious — I’m sorry, but I refuse to believe a band who’s spent more than 30 years breaking stylistic ground doesn’t also put thought into it — “A Season in the Sky” is so overwhelming precisely because it is a work of raw heart. Every turn is affecting. Every boom of Edwardson‘s bass in its bridge, every in-pocket turn of its groove. It’s all gorgeously arranged and balanced, but it’s all so natural at the same time, and it captures instrumentally the seeking that’s happening in the lyrics in a way that is no less resonant today than when it was released. It’s everything the apex of The Eye of Every Storm should be.

And yes, the stark contrasts of loud and quiet in “Bridges” are a highlight unto themselves — it’s as far as Neurosis go into either on the album — and “I Can See You” ends with a graceful transition between acoustic guitar and a final statement of heft, but I’d argue both still remain informed by the methodical execution of “A Season in the Sky,” as does the rest of The Eye of Every Storm when taken in full.

It doesn’t seem like it now, but it was a long three years before Neurosis returned to issue Given to the Rising in 2007, and by the time they did, they found themselves following a different impulse — still deeply atmospheric, but more intense. I liken it to the album art: grey for The Eye of Every Storm and black for its follow-up.  2012’s Honor Found in Decay (review here) pushed further along similar lines in its construction, and 2016’s Fires Within Fires (review here) saw the five-piece take a rawer approach in light of passing their prior-alluded 30th anniversary. They continue to tour, in support of that record as well as a series of vinyl reissues of earlier work, and just at the start of this month announced they’ll hit Japan with Converge early in 2019 (dates here). I haven’t heard murmurings of a new album, but it’s early yet, and I wouldn’t ahead of anyone else. Wherever they go next, I wouldn’t hazard a guess.

This is a special album to me personally and I think in general. I consider writing about it a gift to myself.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

It’s about quarter after four in the morning. In a couple hours, The Pecan, The Patient Mrs. and I will head south from Massachusetts, first to Connecticut, then to New Jersey. That Pecan turns one year old next week so we’re doing a little family celebration thing tomorrow. It’ll be good to be down there for a couple days, if a long drive to do with the baby in one day. Four or five hours in the car is a lot for him. About double his usual tolerance. We’ll see how it goes.

Need to remember to bring the baby monitor and the white noise machine. We don’t pack light these days, not that I ever did. For a dude who wears nothing but t-shirts, I certainly seem to need a lot of clothes. “What if I’m in the mood for the Slomatics shirt?” as I often am. Also the coffee grinder comes with.

That’s what’s up for the weekend. Should be good and exhausting after a week that was much the same. I had the baby straight through from about 10-5:30 yesterday on my own. He naps and stuff — so do I — but still. Youth, energy, all that. I hear teenagers sleep though, so that’s something to look forward to.

Next week is busy too. I feel like I haven’t done proper notes in a while, so here they are, subject to change blah blah:

Mon.: Bismut premiere/review; The Sonic Dawn video premiere.
Tue.: Vessel of Light review.
Wed.: When the Deadbolt Breaks video premiere.
Thu.: Iron Lamb track premiere.
Fri.: A huge piece on The Wall [Redux] with track premieres and band comments, etc.

That last thing is going to be a monster to put together, but will be awesome once it’s up. Look out for it.

The second episode of “The Obelisk Show” on Gimme Radio airs on Sunday night. Prime time, baby! I still need to do the voice tracks for it, but that’ll happen today at some point. 7PM Eastern, 4PM Pacific at http://gimmeradio.com.

And if you want to hear the first episode, you can sign up for their archive feature. It’s five bucks or something ridiculously cheap like that.

Alright. Thanks for reading and thanks to everyone who’s bought a shirt thus far. I’m still hoping to get hoodies done again at some point, but if these go first, that’ll go a long way toward making that happen. So yeah, thanks. If you want one, they’re here: https://www.dropoutmerch.com/the-obelisk.

Please have a great and safe weekend, and please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Red Beard Wall Set Feb. 22 Release for The Fight Needs Us All

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

red beard wall

Texas sludge rock outfit Red Beard Wall will release their second album, The Fight Needs Us All, early next year through Argonauta Records. The one-man-in-the-studio/live-two-piece released their self-titled debut last year through Argonauta and would seem to be getting a push for the follow-up, which will be issued on CD and LP both, each with different covers — left and right below, respectively. As to what the album will hold, Argonauta promises tight songwriting and weighted tone, and after the first record I have no trouble believing it, since that album seemed so much to be about Red Beard Wall establishing sonic parameters from which to build outward. I guess we’ll see Feb. 22 how the next stage in that process plays out.

Here’s the label’s announcement:

RED BEARD WALL announce brand new album

Hot and fresh on the heels of his 2017 critically lauded and extremely well received blistering slab of a debut, the one man cacophony of heavy RED BEARD WALL is back!

The bearded wonder of sludge returns with his highly anticipated sophomore beast of an album titled ‘The Fight Needs Us All’, set to be released on February 22th 2019 with Italy’s rising label Argonauta Records!

Red Beard Wall was born in 2016 on the dry, wind swept plains of West Texas, out of a desire to channel his angst and frustration with the insane reality that surrounds us. With a hyper focus on heavy, hooky and to the point songs, RED BEARD WALL delivers riffs with devastatingly heavy tones, vocals melodies that soar, alongside blistering screams of disillusionment. Creatively it’s all the bearded one and only, Aaron Wall, with the mighty George Trujillo on drums rounding out the live beast that is RED BEARD WALL. Influenced by the sounds of such as Floor, Helmet, Torche, Cavity or Nirvana among countless others, RED BEARD WALL has now unleashed the tracklist and album artwork for his upcoming second album ‘The Fight Needs Us All’! Coming as Digital Download, CD and Vinyl formats, the album pre-order will start soon.

The tracklist will read as follows:

1. Come on Down
2. To My Queen
3. Ode to Green
4. Reverend
5. The Warming
6. Reign of Ignorance
7. Tell Me the Future of Existence
8. The Fight Needs Us All

Says the RED BEARD WALL’s Aaron: “The Fight Needs Us All is everything Red Beard Wall. It is heavy, dense, fire flashing. It is heart, soul, love, and passion. It is anger, joy, sadness, exhilaration. It encompasses war, peace, and social degradation. It is the proudest artistic moment in my life, thus far. ALL HAIL!“

Stay tuned for many more bearded news & updates to follow soon!

https://www.facebook.com/redbeardwall/
https://redbeardwall.bandcamp.com/
www.argonautarecords.com
www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords

Red Beard Wall, Red Beard Wall (2017)

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Negative Reaction Execute “Order 66”; New Album in Progress

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on October 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

It’s been a couple years now since Negative Reaction frontman Kenny ‘Ken-E’ Bones moved himself and therefore the band from Long Island, New York, to Central West Virginia. In that time, he’s partnered with bassist Trey Crane and drummer Kevin King in a new incarnation of the band, embarked on a solo career playing outlaw country, and taken the helm at Steer Run Studios, his own recording facility. Not too shabby, and a rebuilding of band and life alike go a long way to explaining the years it’s been since Frequencies from Montauk (review here) came out in 2011. These things take time.

But the next record — the title of which is decided but not yet revealed — is being recorded with Bones himself as producer/engineer, and in order to demonstrate progress toward its completion, Negative Reaction are premiering the new single “Order 66.” The title is a Star Wars reference, as Order 66 was that which then-Senator Palpatine gave to the Stormtroopers to start executing the Jedi. I think that was Episode III? Samuel L. Jackson, Obi-Wan and Yoda got away, so yeah. Bones is a big fan, which is an understatement, what with the tattoos and all.

The song bridges the two sides of Negative Reaction‘s long-established approach in its sludgy aggression and spacey jamming. No coincidence that in the note below, Bones refers to “captain of the spaceship.” HawkwindMonster Magnet — this is the stuff of life, and “Order 66” serves those impulses well in its second-half cosmojam. Whatever it’ll be called, the album is still in progress, so keep an eye out, but you can hear the song at the bottom of this post. Ken-E‘s always up to something.

Dig it:

negative reaction

A word from the Captain of the Spaceship Negative Reaction………

Hello my fellow Sludgenaughts. I hope this transmission finds you well.

NR has finished mixing and mastering the single to our next release. The single is a song called Order 66. We have sent it out to multiple parties but one in particular that, We, NR are most attracted to has sent very positive feedback to it. We hope to release this next album Of SLUDGE with this said group of great people.

The title of this album has been established but it will remain unknown until an agreement has been reached between NR and said record label to agree on the release. This song and the new album are recorded and mastered at Steer Run Studios, engineered and produced by Ken-E Bones. We are currently recording new songs for the album.

A NR bandcamp page will also be up in a few days as well. It will have ALL of our releases up including some rare tracks from the past!

Thank you all for the love and support. I love each and every one of you. I mean it when I say NR has the greatest fans and family a band could hope for. All the best to you and thanx again for believing in us. Cheers to YOU!!!!”

End Of Line…….
-Capt’N KB

Negative Reaction is:
Ken-E Bones: guitar, vocals
Trey Crane: bass guitar
Kevin King: Drums

https://www.facebook.com/NegativeReaction

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Cvltfest 2018: Witchsorrow, Desert Storm, Mastiff, Diesel King, BongCauldron and More to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Well, you know I’m a sucker for a good all-dayer, and Cvltfest 2018 hits that mark with a super-sludged lineup of UK-based acts including BongCauldronMastiffPIST and Witchsorrow, among a slew of others slated to appear. The fest is Nov. 10 — one day only — and will include a staggering 13 acts to pummel those fortunate enough to be in attendance into the hard ground of Scunthorpe’s Cafe INDIEpendent. I looked and that’s just over two hours by train from King’s Cross in London, but if a full day of sludge thrown in your face isn’t worth the trip, then I don’t know what is.

Info and ticket links follow for those up for the journey:

cvltfest 2018

CVLTFEST 2018

One day. 13 heavy bands. Scunthorpe, UK

Scunthorpe is the United Kingdom’s largest steel processing centre, also known as the “Industrial Garden Town”. Other than that, it’s an unremarkable small town where the Wacky Warehouse is listed as one of the 5 best places to visit.

It would be fair to say, then, that Scunthorpe isn’t ready for the musical bombshell which will be dropped on it on Saturday 10th November. At the Café INDIEpendent – which is a coffee house during the day and an arts venue at night – 13 of the UK’s noisiest, gnarliest riff machines will be plugging into obscene amounts of amplification and giving the sleepy northern town a good hiding. Welcome to Cvltfest!

Lizard King Promotions have secured WITCHSORROW, Candlelight Records recording artists and one of doom metal’s most happening propositions, as headliner. There are six bands performing from the up and coming APF Records roster including Oxford’s stoner rock legends DESERT STORM, northern sludge titan’s BONGCAULDRON, riff juggernauts DIESEL KING, Hull sludgecore merchants MASTIFF, Bury drunks PIST and Manchester’s BARBARIAN HERMIT, who are launching their new album “Solitude And Savagery” in November. Also appearing are sludge metal trio EVEREST QUEEN, Grimsby stoner doom crew CHURCH OF LIES, blues rockers RITUAL KING, psychedelic stoners DELTANAUT, French doom sludge marvels CRACKHOUSE and the massive noise rock duo TUSKAR from down south.

If all goes to plan, there will be no Scunthorpe on Sunday 11th November. It will lie in ruins.

Lizard King Promotions proudly presents CVLTFEST 2018

On November 10th, 2018 @ Cafe INDIEpendent, Scunthorpe

You have prayed to the God’s of Tone, and the Lizard King will deliver once again!

LINEUP:
Witchsorrow
Desert Storm
PIST
BongCauldron
Diesel King
Barbarian Hermit
Everest Queen
Ritual King
Church of Lies
Deltanaut
Mastiff
Tuskar
CRACKHOUSE

(Running order / set times coming soon)

Doors: 12pm
Adv Tickets: £10 (Plus admin)
OTD: £15

Event page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/312064439353101

Tickets:
https://lizardkingpromotions.bigcartel.com/product/cvltfest-lkp-all-dayer

Venue:
http://cafeindiependent.org.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/LizardKingPromotions
https://lizardkingpromotions.bigcartel.com
http://instagram.com/lizardkingpromotions
https://twitter.com/LizardKingPromo

Witchsorrow, No Light, Only Fire (2015)

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Review & Video Premiere: Deville, Pigs with Gods

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on October 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

deville pigs with gods

Deville, ‘Cut it Loose’ official video premiere

[Click play above to watch the official premiere of Deville’s ‘Cut it Loose’ video. Their album, Pigs with Gods, is out Oct. 26 on Fuzzorama Records.]

Sweden’s Deville seemed to lay self-aware claim to their straightforward approach to heavy rock and roll on their last album, 2015’s Make it Belong to Us (review here), which was their first outing through Fuzzorama Records after issuing their third LP, Hydra (review here), through Small Stone. But things change, and in the case of the Malmö four-piece, that extends to the lineup of the band, as guitarist/vocalist Andreas Bengtsson is now the sole remaining founding member of Deville, with lead guitarist Andreas Wulkan having joined before Hydra and the dual-Martin rhythm section of bassist Martin Nobel and drummer Martin Fässberg coming aboard in 2016. As Deville come upon their 15th anniversary in 2019, their latest collection, Pigs with Gods, will be the album that carries them through it, and it’s another forward step in their ongoing sonic development.

As to how much the Andreases and Martins share writing duties among them, I don’t know, but Deville has always had Bengtsson at the center, and that remains true throughout the substantial, LP-limit-pushing 12 tracks and 51 minutes of Pigs with Gods, but as cuts like “Came for Nothing,” “Hell in the Water,” “Cut it Loose” and “Gold Sealed Tomb” remind, the star when it comes to Deville‘s work has always been the songs themselves. Structurally tight, crisply produced and executed with a full, professional sound and energy, the material on Pigs with Gods offers little by way of surprises in the overall quality of its work. That is, after their last couple albums especially and even going back to 2007’s Come Heavy Sleep (which Heavy Psych Sounds pressed to vinyl in 2013) and 2009’s Hail the Black Sky (discussed here), they’ve worked to a high standard of output. With Bengtsson as the consistent factor in the band all along, one can at this point read a certain level of auteurship to their work, but again, it’s the songwriting that’s the proper focus.

And whether it’s the lumbering riffer “Lightbringer” or the one-two punch of opener “Lost Grounds” and the title-track right behind it, Pigs with Gods wants nothing as regards songwriting. The real shift as regards Deville‘s style is in the aggression level of the material overall. “Lost Grounds” puts that out immediately and sets a context for the rest of what follows such that even the uptempo push of “Cut it Loose” or the bombastic “Wrecked” later on seem informed by it. They play around with the dynamic, as one would think for a group of their established professionalism, and “Acid Meadows” mellows out while “Dead Goon” turns it somewhat darker ahead of “Came for Nothing” and the ending shove of “Medicated on a Concrete Road” and closer “In Reverse,” which tops six minutes in grand finale fashion with a striking vocal harmony, but the core tonality of Pigs with Gods — and even the title itself, unless they’re referencing Margaret Atwood — retains more of an aggro edge than anything they’ve done before.

deville

The effect there is to toe the line between heavy rock and hard rock, and taken in concert with the accessibility that their penchant for hooks grants them, one might read a commercial aspect to their sound, but I don’t think that’s what they’re going for. Whether they’re reflecting the times or some personal strife or whatever it might be, their intention seems not to make the widest-reaching album possible, but to push themselves into making the best album possible, and while Pigs with Gods is a considerable undertaking at 51 minutes — Make it Belong to Us was 37, to compare — they stave off redundancy with malleability and succeed in moving their aesthetic forward to someplace it’s never been. As to how much the arrival of Nobel and Fässberg might have to do with the sharper take, I can’t say, but it’s crucial that even as raucous as Pigs with Gods gets, on “Gold Sealed Tomb” or  “Wrecked” or even “Lost Grounds” at the outset, there’s no sacrifice of melody or catchiness in the name of making a show of being pissed off.

Nor should there be. Instead, Deville hit this new nuance in their modus with the same level of pro-shop confidence they’ve had for the better part of the last decade, and I firmly believe that’s because they keep the songs themselves as the core of the band. At no point does Pigs with Gods sound like Bengtsson sat WulkanFässberg and Nobel down at a band meeting and told them it was time to get mad. What it sounds like is that Deville wrote a new collection of tracks to follow-up the last one and the songs went where they wanted to go naturally. I’ve mentioned a couple times by now Pigs with Gods hitting expectations. In songwriting, in performance, etc. And it does, but that shouldn’t be taken to mean that it lacks passion or that it’s somehow otherwise flat, just hitting its marks and content with that. While there are steady elements to their approach and I wouldn’t say they ever come close to losing their tight grip on what they do, Deville are just working to a high standard, and surpassing where they were before is a part of that.

One would expect no less from them, no matter who’s in the band, or it simply wouldn’t be Deville. And with the rolling-forward riff of “Dead Goon” and the spacious time-taking of “In Reverse” — the bass of which is satisfyingly dirt-caked in its post-midpoint showcase — Pigs with Gods is unquestionably Deville. It shows how recognizable their sound has become over time and just how much the ownership they acknowledged their last time out has allowed them to do what they want with their songwriting and take it to places it hasn’t yet been. Whatever the future holds for them as they move beyond a decade and a half — one assumes they won’t have another album out next year, given past pacing — Deville give zero sign of letting go of the willfully grounded craft that serves as their foundation. As regards Pigs with Gods, it is only a source of strength for what they do.

Deville on Thee Facebooks

Deville website

Fuzzorama Records

Fuzzorama on Bandcamp

 

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The Heavy Crown Post Cover & Tracklisting for Reign On; Album out Nov. 3

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the heavy crown (Photo by Jana Germanus)

Organ-ic Belgian rockers The Heavy Crown will release their second album in just a few short weeks. Titled Reign On, the 10-song offering will be out digitally first on Nov. 3 with vinyl to follow, presumably next year through a yet-to-be-announced label. I’ve got a guess which one it’ll be, and you might too, but I’d rather wait and see if I’m right than engage in baseless or mostly-baseless speculation in that regard. Hedging my bets, maybe.

I guess the digital release is basically going to be as soon as it’s mastered, since they’re finishing up the mix currently and then will send it off to Alan Douches (rhymes with “couches”) to be finalized. Their debut release was 2015’s Full of Haze, which you can stream at the bottom of this post. Easy to hear why some (yet unnamed) label would want to pick them up.

Karate chop:

the heavy crown reign on

Mixing is almost done, so in the meanwhile feast your eyes on the amazing artwork our buddy Charles made for our second record, entitled “Reign On”.

“Reign On” will tell a semi-autobiographical tale about escapism and the power of imagination, loss and grief, being lost in space, wandering the afterlife realms, renewal and hope, healing through love, and acceptance of the impermanent among the many other difficulties of life as we know it. We guess you could call it a concept album…

Mastering will be done by Alan Douches (also mastered “Full of Haze” in 2015), known for working on world-renowned records by Motörhead, High on Fire, Baroness, Converge,… so we are beyond excited to release this one into the universe.

Reign On tracklisting:
1. Becoming…
2. The Escapist
3. Reign On
4. Greenish Brown
5. Venus Gold
6. Won’t You Stay
7. Three Swans
8. Wicked Lady
9. Lover’s Remorse
10. Goodnight, Moon

“Reign On” will be available on Spotify and other digital platforms November 3, vinyl pre-order (both regular and limited edition) launching shortly thereafter.

https://www.facebook.com/wearetheheavycrown/
https://www.instagram.com/theheavycrown
https://wearetheheavycrown.bandcamp.com/

The Heavy Crown, Full of Haze (2015)

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Here’s Why I Decided to Do Merch Again

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 18th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Yeah, I said it would never happen. First of all, this is rock and roll, and anyone who’s ever seen a reunion show — which I think at this point is everybody — should know how long ‘never’ lasts. It doesn’t matter what I said. Doesn’t matter what I say now either, I guess. Okay, post over. Thanks for reading.

I know money’s tight. Money’s tight for me too. I’m as broke as I’ve ever been. I’m not doing merch for money. I’m doing merch because this site is coming up on a special occasion and it’s one of the little ways to celebrate it.

And it is a celebration. Last time I did tshirts and hoodies, it was very much a first-timer experience. I was so dumb about it. Took preorders for a week and sold 110 shirts, then had to have them all made and sent out to the US and Europe and Japan and Australia. It was a HUGE expense on my part and a significant pain in the ass, and in the end I lost money on the endeavor.

Well, along come Dave from Made in Brooklyn Silkscreeners — who did the stuff last time, so I know it’s quality work — and Matt Bacon from Dropout Merch, and they’ve got a fulfillment model. Nothing’s made that isn’t sold, and they handle all the shipping and it’s all built into the cost. I get $10 per shirt sold, which is more than I made doing it myself, and none of the extra work that, worst of all, cut into my writing time. I trust them to not screw it up or screw anyone over. That’s what matters.

There are four designs and here they are (click to enlarge):

The top two are by CAVUMscriptorum and Harley and J, and the bottom two are Alexander von Wieding. The CAVUM one (top left) and the von Wieding without the rays (bottom left) are new this time. It makes me sad to think that I’d feel too much like dude-in-his-own-band’s-shirt to wear one, but that space boogie design is fucking rad. I think they’re all cool and I hope you agree.

If you buy a shirt, thanks. You’re directly helping to support my ability to do this site as well as, I don’t know, buy groceries? If you don’t buy a shirt and you think I’m a scumbag trying to make a buck, well, okay, but if that was my aim, I’d probably have folded this fucking endeavor a long time ago and gotten an actual job for which I probably wouldn’t work half as hard or care half as much.

Alright, that’s it. Thanks for reading, and thanks to MIBK Dave and Matt Bacon for coddling my hyper-protective ass through the process of getting this going,

Merch is here if you’re interested. Appreciate the support either way: https://www.dropoutmerch.com/the-obelisk

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11PARANOIAS Announce Early 2019 Release for Asterismal

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 18th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Interesting to think of 11PARANOIAS‘ last couple records as part of a series, and even more interesting to think that the series is about to conclude with the issue of their latest album, Asterismal. Due early next year through Ritual Productions, the album was recorded across two sessions spanning last Fall and this past Spring, and though they haven’t yet unveiled the cover art, let alone any audio, they have a live clip they’re sharing of the new song “Loss Portal,” which will feature on the release, which is said to be more focused on the guitar and more focused overall. It’s easy to get lost in the overarching muck of 11PARANOIAS‘ sound, but there’s always nuance and ritualism to their assault, and one expects nothing less this time either. I’ll hope to have more to come on it as we get closer to the release.

The PR wire sent info on the album accordingly:

11paranoias (Photo by Al Overdrive)

11PARANOIAS ANNOUNCE NEW RITE, ASTERISMAL, INCOMING EARLY 2019 ON RITUAL PRODUCTIONS

Ritual Productions shall commence 2019 by re-opening the paranoid realms, courtesy of a new rite from the masters of psych-doom-noise experimentation, 11PARANOIAS.

Asterismal is undoubtedly the band’s most exciting yet challenging release to date, coalescing experimental noise elements with pure psychedelia and a devastating deluge of doom and drone. The rite channels unprecedented extra-terrestrial terrain for the band, opening thresholds of esoteric mysticism, immersive euphoria and alluring darkness, subsequently conjuring an overwhelmingly intense rapture for the subconscious and its dormant senses. More propulsive, potent and powerful than its predecessors, bassist/vocalist Adam Richardson explains:

“Asterismal is of the stars, our fifth album. In alchemical terms the sonic content is equal parts Albedo (Psych/Space), Nigredo (Total Doom), Rubido (Noise/Experimental) – never before have we so clearly delineated these genres on one record. This marks the final installment of a trilogy of albums (Stealing Fire From Heaven had lead drums, Reliquary For A Dreamed Of World had lead bass and Asterismal now hones in on the lead guitar). Our most focused release yet, this rite even saw some prior preparation and writing before taking it to the studio!”

Keen purveyors of 11PARANOIAS’ live rituals will recognise the opening track, ‘Loss Portal’, which has been included in the band’s 2018 setlists. Preview this track below, taken from the band’s spellbinding summer solstice ritual with Oranssi Pazuzu.

The artwork – soon to be revealed – comes courtesy of Toby Ziegler: “11PARANOIAS are thrilled to be working with Toby Ziegler after being friends for so long. We are proud to be continuing our forced and unsolicited art history lessons for all and any fans of the band!”, says Richardson. Those who have held onto their Multi-Dimensional Paranoid Vision (MPV) keys – which come with the band’s 2016 rite, Reliquary For A Dreamed Of World – shall be rewarded in the visual realm too…

Asterismal was recorded and mixed by Wayne Adams at Bear Bites Horse Studio, London in September 2017 and May 2018, respectively. Additional recording and mastering undertaken by Dan Miller and Adam Richardson at XL Recordings Studio, London during July 2018.

Asterismal will see release on LP, CD and digital download in early 2019. Further information, exclusive material and limited-edition packages shall be unveiled in the coming months.

In the meantime, 11PARANOIAS perform a ritual at Bristol’s ‘Dread Haze Weekender’ this Saturday 20th October @ Exchange.

11PARANOIAS IS:
Adam Richardson – bass/vocals
Mike Vest – guitar
Nathan Perrier – drums

11paranoias.bandcamp.com
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www.ritualproductions.net
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11PARANOIAS, “Loss Portal” live in London

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