Friday Full-Length: Acid King, III

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Acid King, III (2005)

And you’re welcome.

There are few joys in heavy rock as unfettered as a Lori S. riff. Some guitarists gallop. Some careen. Some cut steep angles. Some nod. And sometimes a Lori riff can sound like it’s being thrown down a flight of stairs in how it seems to tumble out of the speakers, but her perfect blend of tempo, timing, groove, construction, spaciousness, tone and the cyclical nature of her style gives her work in San Francisco’s Acid King an unparalleled molten feel. I won’t take anything away from her echoing vocals, Joey Osbourne‘s roll-ready drumming or what a succession of bassists from Peter Lucas to Dan Southwick to Brian Hill to Guy Pinhas to Rafa Martinez to Mark Lamb have brought to the group in terms of low end, but it is now and has always been the riffs that define Acid King, even dating back to their raw 1994 self-titled EP and 1995 debut album, Zoroaster.

That record would serve as the foundation on which in 1999 the band built a temple and named it Busse Woods (discussed here and here), which — as I seem to say every time I mention it at all — is one of the very best stoner rock albums of all time. It would be six years before the trio, which was then comprised of Lori, Pinhas (also known for his work in Goatsnake and The Obsessed) and Osbourne, issued a proper follow-up. No doubt the dissolution of Frank Kozik‘s by-now legendary imprint Man’s Ruin Records, which released Busse Woods and the subsequent 2001 split EP with Mystick Krewe of Clearlight, played into the delay, but in 2004, Small Stone Records reissued Busse Woods and in 2005, stepped in to offer III — Acid King‘s much-awaited and aptly-titled third full-length.

III was a Spring release, and I remember it seemed pretty close behind the Busse Woods reissue, which may have contributed to the impression that despite the stretch between the two (which seemed long at the time; ha) that the newer album was still operating in the shadow of its predecessor. Nonetheless, with years of hindsight to provide a looking-back lens now, III is an absolute masterwork of riffly meditation. From the fading-in fuzz that begins “2 Wheel Nation” and the unmitigated nod that follows through the patient execution of the singularly righteous “Heavy Load,” “Bad Vision” — which is precisely what I had in mind with the “down a flight of stairs” comment in the first paragraph above — the 12-minute centerpiece “War of the Mind,” the quicker “Into the Ground,” the hook reset of “On to Everafter” and the highlight drum wizardry in finale “Sunshine and Sorrow,” one would be hard-pressed to find a better way to spend 46 minutes of listening time when it comes to groove immersion. Across the entire span, Acid King demonstrate plainly the sheer unfuckwithability of their craft and the utter injustice that their name isn’t mentioned in the same breath as Sleep and Black Sabbath for their pivotal contributions to the form.

Yes, I mean that.

One would be remiss not to note the collaboration between the three-piece and producer Billy Anderson as essential to their overall sound. Anderson, who worked with the band on Zoroaster and Busse Woods as well before helming III, captures the depth of tone and character in Lori‘s guitar and seems to put it in just the right balance with the corresponding bass and drums. The effectiveness on “2 Wheel Nation” is immediate once the song starts — it’s a groove that leaves no one behind as it takes to the road on some souped-up space chopper — and with “Heavy Load” following, the launch salvo for III is unmistakable in its preached message of tonal supremacy, but neither is it void of atmosphere. The repetitions are hypnotic, and shortly, “Bad Vision” snaps the listener back to at least a semi-consciousness state, but while one generally thinks of Acid King as being straightforward in their intentions and sonic impression-making, it’s worth pointing out just how much room is being created by Lori‘s riffs, by the crash of Osbourne‘s cymbals and the thud of his toms, and by the plummeting bass tone with which Pinhas anchors the marching procession. This is reinforced as “War of the Mind” gives III its most gorgeous sprawl, setting itself in an open landscape that seems to stretch like some Western highway populated at dawn by mission-bound hippies in some lysergic American daydream. Even as the lyrics call outright for freedom, the instrumental fluidity behind them seems to find it and bring it wonderfully, glaringly to life.

Is is possible for a band to be so widely hailed and still be underrated? III, which in addition to being concurrent to the reissue of the album before it also arrived at a just-pre-social-media moment of generational shift, would argue yes. Though they toured steadily between, brought together their first two outings in 2006 as their The Early Years compilation, and oversaw reissues of both III and Busse Woods in the interim, a decade passed before Acid King released their fourth long-player in 2015. Aligned to Svart Records and comprised of Lori, Osbourne and Lamb, the triumphantly chanting Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere (review here) brimmed with classic Acid King method and personality. With production by Anderson as well as Toshi Kasai, it found the band at their most world-conjuring to-date and marked a surge of international touring and general activity that continues to this day as Lori has revamped Acid King‘s lineup to bring back Martinez (who’s spent years on the road at this point as the drummer for the raging Black Cobra) on bass and new drummer Bil Bowman, replacing Osbourne in the band for the first time and leaving herself as the sole remaining founding member.

The inevitable shift in dynamic there could potentially mean a significant change in Acid King‘s overall chemistry, but with the band having taken six years between Busse Woods and III and 10 between III and Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere, I’m not inclined to predict when their next LP will show up, what shape it will ultimately take, or who will be involved in its making. What matters is that as Acid King approach their 25th anniversary since getting together in 1993, they’ve perhaps never been so ripe for appreciation, and while their catalog over those years isn’t about to challenge Hawkwind in terms of its sheer numbers, each of their albums remains a landmark accomplishment at a level few bands could ever hope to reach.

As always, I hope you enjoy, and thanks for reading.

Yeah, closing out with Acid King is pretty much me doing myself a favor. After a week of being literally shit on, I kind of feel like I earned it as much as I ever consider myself as having “earned” anything. Either way, I decided pretty early on this week that III would do the job and it’s been a pleasure to dig into it over the last few days, go a little deeper in listening than I sometimes do with this stuff. I woke up early this morning to come downstairs and get started. Alarm went off at 4AM. My idea of a good time.

The Pecan continues to grow. Predictably, he’s become a baby of many names, among them “Rocketass” for his propensity to wait until I’ve got his diaper off to unleash fecal torrents. The Patient Mrs. and I gave him a bath last weekend in the kitchen sink and he also pissed on my Vitamix that I use to make the protein shakes that are now what I eat for dinner roughly six nights a week, so yeah. Took me a couple days to forgive that in theory, but the reality of the situation is I don’t even care anymore. He’s yet to produce anything that can’t be wiped off or put through the wash, etc.

I’m sure we’ll get there. I’m just saying we’re not there yet. In the meantime, lack of sleep? Diaper changing? Trying to get him to take a bottle? Whatever. These are good days. Fatigue is a small price to pay for that.

He’s three weeks old now, and The Patient Mrs. continues to be wonderful as a mother. Never a doubt she would be, but to actually see it manifest as reality is humbling and only further underscores how fortunate I am to exist in her presence, pretty much ever, let alone on the ongoing basis of our relationship, marriage and so on. Stupid lucky. The Pecan has been a little fussy the last couple days — Wonder Weeks says he’s on the verge of a sensory breakthrough, which should be fascinating — and she’s been running point all the way. I’ve cooked and cleaned and done that stuff, but to see her momming it up is fantastic. I love her so much I want to bash my brains in.

Next week is Thanksgiving here in the US — a holiday with a troubled historical foundation but probably my favorite in terms of how it brings loved ones together in a spirit of shared appreciation for each other. We’re getting together with my family and The Patient Mrs.’ family in Connecticut for dinner. I’m already anxious about being around that much food — hi, I have an eating disorder — but even if I end up bringing the blender and the protein powder south for the day, I think it’ll be a good time. I’m looking forward to it.

Not sure how it will affect the timing of posts, but here’s what’s in the notes for next week anyway, subject of course to change without notice:

Mon.: Snowy Dunes album review; Borracho announcement/track premiere.
Tue.: Low Orbit track premiere/review; Pillars video premiere.
Wed.: SubRosa Subdued track premiere. Fuck yes.
Thu.: Maybe a podcast? Don’t expect much, if anything.
Fri.: Maybe Frank Sabbath review. Depends where I’m at post-holiday.

There you have it, and there you have it.

I’ve started to put together the next Quarterly Review already for the end of next month/the beginning of January, as well as the best-of lists, so keep an eye out for all that stuff as we move into December, and we’ll have the best albums poll up as well come Dec. 1. Be ready. I want to make it the best one yet, and last year’s is going to be tough to top.

If you’re still reading, you’re great. Thank you.

Have an excellent, safe weekend, and please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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The Atlas Moth to Release Coma Noir Feb. 9

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

When Chicago’s The Atlas Moth were announced over the summer as signing to Prosthetic Records, the tentative timeframe for their next album, Coma Noir, was Fall 2017. Okay, so maybe the record will ultimately wind up a little off that mark, but I can’t help but think that’ll ultimately work to its benefit. This past Fall — we’re basically through it now, at least in terms of releases — was utterly slammed with new records. One after the next after the next. Granted, there’s always stuff coming out these days, but even for that, it was overwhelming.

I don’t know what else Feb. 9 will bring, but as The Atlas Moth follow-up 2014’s The Old Believer (discussed here), at least they’re not in such immediate danger of getting lost in the fray of everything coming out. They’ll be on the road at the time with Royal Thunder and Mirrors for Psychic Warfare — the latter whose lineup includes Sanford Parker, who produced Coma Noir (funny how these things work sometimes) — so all the better. The record was one to look forward to before. Still is.

The Atlas Moth will also take part in next year’s Northwest Terror Fest, as the PR wire affirms:

the atlas moth

The Atlas Moth announce Coma Noir release date, headlining tour and Northwest Terrorfest appearance

Chicago’s experimental metallers, THE ATLAS MOTH, have set a February 9, 2018 release date for their fourth LP, Coma Noir. The band will kick off a North American tour the following day with Royal Thunder and Mirrors of Psychic Warfare. Full dates are below.

The album marks a few firsts for the band; it’s the first release for LA indie metal, Prosthetic Records, it’s the first to feature Mike Miczik (Broken Hope) on drums, and it’s the first time the band worked with an outside producer. On previous releases, the band’s guitarist/vocalist, Andrew Ragin handled production duties. This time around, longtime friend, Sanford Parker (Eyehategod, Voivod) stepped in to steer the Coma Noir ship. An outside voice, one that the band was comfortable with, was key to channeling all the different elements the band brings to the table and keeping everything cohesive and concise.

More information on Coma Noir will become available in the coming weeks, and plans are already underway for further activity for THE ATLAS MOTH in 2018.

THE ATLAS MOTH w/ Royal Thunder & Mirrors of Psychic Warfare
2/10 Chicago, IL @ The Empty Bottle
2/11 Pontiac, MI @ The Pike Room
2/12 Toronto, ONT @ Hard Luck – Tickets
2/13 Montreal, QUE @ Bar Le Ritz
2/14 Allston, MA @ Great Scott
2/15 Hamden, CT @ Ballroom at the Outer Space
2/16 Brooklyn, NY @Saint Vitus
2/17 Philadelphia, PA @ Voltage Lounge
2/18 Washington, DC @ DC9
2/20 Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
2/21 Columbia, SC @ New Brookline Tavern
2/22 Atlanta, GA @ 529

5/29-6/02 Seattle, WA @ Northwest Terror Fest

THE ATLAS MOTH is:
Andrew Ragin – Synth/guitar
Alex Klein – Bass
Mike Miczek – Drums
David Kush- Guitar/Vocals
Stavros Giannopoulos – Guitar/Vocals

www.facebook.com/theatlasmothband
www.twitter.com/theatlasmoth
www.instagram.com/theatlasmoth

The Atlas Moth, The Old Believer (2014)

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T.G. Olson, Searching for the Ur-Plant: Solitary Brigade

Posted in Reviews on November 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

tg olson searching for the ur-plant

T.G. Olson is rarely far off from his next release. At this point, the Across Tundras frontman has settled into a steady rhythm where every few months, new songs will be recorded and presented for those who’ll have them as name-your-price downloads on Bandcamp. Sometimes — as in the case of his latest, Searching for the Ur-Plant — these DIY digital offerings will be complemented by limited, usually gorgeous and suitably organic-looking handmade CDRs pressed through the auspices of Olson‘s Electric Relics Records imprint. Sometimes not. Either way, the next thing always seems to be on the horizon. This has led to a remarkably productive few years and an increasingly complex narrative as to just what Olson‘s solo work encompasses in terms of style and craft.

Searching for the Ur-Plant was preceded this Spring by the full-length Foothills Before the Mountain (review here), which in turn followed a busy 2016 that produced La Violenza Naturale (review here), the From the Rocky Peaks b/w Servant to Blues single (discussed here) and the albums The Broken End of the Deal (review here) and Quicksilver Sound (discussed here), and the newer work follows a path distinct from its most immediate predecessor in a way that makes it more difficult to guess what Olson‘s next move might be. Other, of course, than (presumably) putting out another record. Because that’s kind of how he does. The question is how that record will be defined, and the reason that’s harder to determine as a result of the eight-song Searching for the Ur-Plant is because how much it strips down the approach taken on Foothills Before the Mountain.

On sheer sonic terms, the drone-folk arrangements of cuts like opener “On a High Like a Mountain” or the later “New Resistance Blues” aren’t necessarily new ground for Olson, but they represent a turn from what seemed to be more full-band-style fare his last time out toward a more distinctly “solo” feel. The story goes that the material was “handmade from scratch during one rainy week in October 2017. All songs were written new on the spot and recorded one by one until 33:32 minutes had been laid to bare to tape,” and having been completed on Oct. 11, Searching for the Ur-Plant found issue three days later: written, performed, recorded, produced, mixed, mastered and pressed by Olson himself.

At its most minimal, as on “Time Flies By and By,” the album carries that insular feel, but there’s also a good bit of reaching out done in these tracks, which from the early Paul Simon-style bounce of “The Old Brigade” to the later handclaps of the penultimate “Back on the Cross” seem to be in conversation with the human interaction at the root of Americana and folk traditionalism — the idea that songs were meant to be shared, sung by groups together, and so on.

t.g. olson

A big difference is in percussion and the general lack thereof, and where Foothills Before the Mountain was less shy about including drums, those handclaps in “Back on the Cross” are about it as far as outward timekeeping goes. Elsewhere, the key seems to be in call and response vocals — a theme “On a High Like a Mountain” sets early and which continues through the repetition-minded, harmonica-laced “A Constant Companion,” “Time Flies By and By,” “The Old Brigade,” “Trying to Take it All In,” “New Resistance Blues,” and closer “The Ur-Plant” itself — Olson answering his vocal lines in delayed time over acoustic and electric guitar that free-flows between drift and ramble, wistful and playful.

Given the timeline in which Searching for the Ur-Plant was put together — written and tracked in the span of a week — that such consistencies would develop makes sense. Sometimes an idea just gets stuck in your head and needs to be exorcised, and despite that steady element, the songs remain varied in their intent, whether it’s the classic melancholy of “A Constant Companion” with its echoes of airy slide guitar or the soft and swaying guitar and harmonica execution of “The Ur-Plant,” which rounds out in less chorus-focused fashion than cuts like “On a High Like a Mountain” or “The Old Brigade,” but with an absolute center based in the realization of its pastoralia, humble even as it brims with creativity and understated nuance. This too is familiar ground from Olson, but brought to bear with a fascinating patience that would seem to fly in the face of the urgency with which Searching for the Ur-Plant was written and constructed.

It would’ve been easy, in other words, for Olson to come across as rushed on a record that took a week to make. But he doesn’t. Instead, he harvests an eight-song/33-minute collection that sidesteps expectation while remaining quintessentially his in terms of atmosphere and overarching style, which is a balance that, so well struck as it is, defines Searching for the Ur-Plant and serves as the basis for its ultimate success. In intent and manifestation, Olson‘s work would struggle to be any less pretentious than it is, but it remains propelled by a fierce and apparently unyielding creativity, and though this particular outing makes it harder to imagine where Olson might go next — whereas after Foothills Before the Mountain he seemed so primed to continue working toward one-man-band-style arrangements — that unpredictability, met head-on by such depth of songwriting, only becomes yet another asset working in Olson‘s favor.

The discography he’s built at this point is something truly special, and whether one meanders through it as through tall, pathless grasses, or follows step by step as each installment arrives, journey and destination alike seem to satisfy with a warmth all their own. Searching for the Ur-Plant winds up in a lonelier place than some of Olson‘s other offerings, but its sense of longing is resonant, beautiful, and honest. Clearly the search continues.

T.G. Olson, Searching for the Ur-Plant (2017)

Across Tundras on Thee Facebooks

Across Tundras/T.G. Olson on Bandcamp

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Wolftooth Sign to Cursed Tongue Records; Debut LP out in 2018

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

wolftooth

Classic metal and heavy rock crash headfirst in Wolftooth‘s ‘The Huntress,’ which is just one of the eight tracks on the band’s self-titled debut LP that makes it easy to understand what Cursed Tongue Records was thinking in signing the four-piece to release the album on vinyl. They were thinking it ruled. I’m enjoying how hard it’s becoming to argue with their taste, and as Wolftooth join choice snags like Sumokem, Earth WitchNeon WarshipDevil’s WitchesGreen Yeti and Mental Tremors, a significant reliability factor is coming together. Trust is a good thing. Trust that someone is going to back cool riffs is even better.

You can hear “The Huntress” as well as two other cuts from Wolftooth‘s Wolftooth now via the band’s Bandcamp, streaming at the bottom of this post. The LP itself will arrive early next year with preorders up sometime between now and then. In the meanwhile, here’s the announcement from Cursed Tongue to make the alliance official:

wolftooth cursed tongue

WOLFTOOTH SIGNS TO CURSED TONGUE RECORDS FOR WORLD WIDE RELEASE OF THEIR DEBUT FULL LENGTH ALBUM.

We are extremely happy to announce the rabid new signing from Cursed Tongue Records

Hailing from the Midwest via Richmond IN comes the “Stoner Metal Riff Worshipers” Wolftooth consisting of a pack of well seasoned musicians (all 20+ yr metal scene veterans) determined to raise the bar of the almighty riff. Wolftooth combines influences from the 70’s and early 80’s NWOBHM with Bay Area Thrash and doom laden riffery. Meanwhile the vocals soar over blues drenched solos that add a stoner sensibility to the Wolftooth sound.

Wolftooth, despite having just existed for a short period of time, have already released an EP of three songs on Bandcamp in August 2017 that secured them a place at #12 on the September edition of Doom Charts and general acclaim amidst reviewers across the heavy underground scene. It brings evidence of a band that’s aiming high and is willing to put the muscle and mind behind.

Some bands need a whole career to make an impression. Wolftooth only needed three tracks to impress on an epic scale and after listening to their EP we just instantly knew that this band are going places. So it is a natural thing to add Wolftooth to the Cursed Tongue Records roster as we feel the music the band purveys is an extension of our love for metal and rock. We are stoked to be putting thier debut full length album out in the first half of 2018. Official release date and preorder details to be revealed in due time.

Wolftooth hits hard with a unique blend of stoner, 90’s alternative rock, hintes of 80’s glory and some goddamned heavy riffs that makes this band worth your full attention. So lookout cause Wolftooth is on a mission to bring the “Power of the Riff” to the masses.

CTR-007, Wolftooth – ‘Wolftooth’, official release date: first half 2018

Wolftooth is:
Chris Sullivan – Guitar and Vocals
Jeff Cole – Guitar
Terry McDaniel Jr – Bass
Johnny Harrod – Drums

Recorded at Led Fields studio Connersvile IN
Engineered and mixed by Jeremy Lovins
Assistant Engineer: Skylar Nichols
Produced by Wolftooth and Jeremy Lovins
All music composed and arranged by Wolftooth
*Keyboard arrangements by Jeremy Lovins

Track listing:
Side A
1. Blackbirds Call
2. Aegaeon
3. Sword Of My Father
4. White Mountain

Side B
5. Frost Lord
6. The Huntress
7. Season Of The Witch
8. Forged In Fire

http://wolftooth.bandcamp.com/releases
http://www.facebook.com/wolftoothmetal/
https://www.instagram.com/wolftooth_metal/
https://www.facebook.com/CursedTongueRecords/
https://www.instagram.com/cursedtongue
http://cursedtonguerecords.bigcartel.com/

Wolftooth, Wolftooth EP (2017)

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Humulus Touring Germany Next Week

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Beer-guzzling Italian heavy rockers Humulus might be a little late for Oktoberfest, but one imagines they’ll find plenty to keep their livers busy with anyway as they trek through Germany next week on a Noisolution-booked six-day jaunt supporting earlier-2017’s Reverently Heading into Nowhere (review here). The band offers a quick check-in ahead of the run, and it turns out they’ve almost completely sold through the first pressing of their second long-player, and though more are reportedly 200 more on the way, if you happen to be in the path of the tour and want a copy, now would seem to be the time to pick it up. Fair enough.

Reverently Heading into Nowhere was released through Taxi Driver Records and Oak Island Records. Here’s that update from the band, some cool art and the dates for next week’s stint:

Humulus – Humulus Germanicus Tour

We really can’t wait to hit the road and have a blast in this 6 days tour in Germany. In the past we had 2 shows in Germany (one at Keep it Low in 2015) and were always very nice situations. When our last LP came out it was well reviewed by German magazines and blogs and our German label (Oak Island Records) and promoting agency (Noisolution) are doing a great work with us. We really expect to having good time, nice shows and meet old and new friends.

We have only few copies left of our last LP in limited edition vinyl for this tour… then new 200 copies will be repressed by the label in black version and they will be available from spring 2018. So don’t be shy German people: come to our shows, enjoy our music, and grab the last copies of our R.H.I.N.O.

20.11.2017 – Munich, Rumours
21.11.2017 – Wiesbaden, Kesselhaus w/ The Flying Eyes
22.11.2017 – Düsseldorf, District 6
23.11.2017 – Berlin, Jägerklause Berlin w/ Dead Kittens
24.11.2017 – Jena, Kulturbahnhof Jena w/ Nap
25.11.2017 – Ulm, Kradhalle

Tour is booked and promote by Noisolution

Humulus is:
Andrea Van Cleef: guitar, voice
Giorgio Bonacorsi: bass
Massimiliano Boventi: drums

www.facebook.com/humulusband
www.humulus.bandcamp.com
www.taxidriverstore.com
www.taxidriverstore.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/oakislandrecords/

Humulus, Reverently Heading into Nowhere (2017)

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CHRCH & Fister Release Split LP Tomorrow

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Do you love atmospherically switched on and utterly skull-cleaving extreme doom? Sure, we all do. One should therefore take note of tomorrow as the release date of the new split between Los Angeles soulcrushers CHRCH and their bet-we-can-write-an-even-longer-song scathing compatriots in Fister. Because, you now, with the cleaving and whatnot. Issued through respected purveyor Battleground Records and Crown an Throne Ltd., it’s just two tracks, but that’s frankly all you need and even franklier probably all you could stand anyway from these two litmus test outfits pushing the limits of hyperbole-worthy viciousness. Get it, get doomed.

The PR wire delivers humbling brutality:

chrch fister split

On November 17th 2017, the stunning new split by CHRCH & Fister will be released The album consists of two tracks and will be released on limited edition vinyl via Crown and Throne Ltd and Battleground Records.

CHRCH have been hard at work crafting their particular brew of sound since late 2013. There is no image or campy gimmick to uphold, only the humble continuation and glorification of those fundamental musical elements that first built and then sustained the genre and it’s offshoots over the course of decades.

This purity and honesty comes across in a striking manner on the band’s debut ‘Unanswered Hymns’, a sprawling roller coaster of an album that plumbs the heights and depths of emotion, whether be it sorrow, loss, or redemption. Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Patrick Hills at Earthtone Studios in Rocklin, CA, the recording exudes a warm, organic tone that draws the listener in to music heavily influenced by traditional doom, psych rock, drone, and ambience. CHRCH cannily wields dynamic songwriting, musicianship, and raw power to spin a spellbinding tale of occult darkness that clashes with illuminating melodies and riffs drenched in grimy reverb. Minimalistic, indulgent, or straightforward, the music of CHRCH is simply whatever the listener wants it to be.

Fister, coming off their recent reissue of “Gemini” on vinyl (Encapsulated Records), their split 7″ with TEETH (Broken Limbs Recordings), and of course their last 12″ “IV” (Crown and Throne Ltd.), continues to incorporate heavy influences from the black and death metal genres into a depressing sludge spewing heaviness that many have attempted, but few have mastered.

CHRCH: Eva Rose, Chris Lemos, Adam Jennings, Ben Catchart, Shann Marriott Jr.
Fister: Kenny Snarzdk, Marcus Newstead, Krik Gatterer

https://www.facebook.com/chrchdoomca/
https://www.facebook.com/fisterdoom/
http://crownandthroneltd.bigcartel.com/product/fister-chrch-split-12/
https://www.facebook.com/crownandthroneltd/
https://crownandthroneltd.bandcamp.com/
http://www.battlegroundrnr.com/product/chrch-fister-split-album
https://www.facebook.com/battlegroundrecords/
https://soundcloud.com/battleground-records

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Hyborian Sign to Season of Mist; Vol. I Reissue Due Early 2018

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Kansas City riff-bruisers Hyborian initially released their debut album, Vol. I, via local imprint The Company earlier this year, and thereby cleaned the clocks of many in their path. That number includes, apparently, Season of Mist, who announce below that they’ve signed the genre-skirting four-piece and will reissue Vol. I early next year. I can think of few endorsements that ring more clearly with the message, “You did something right.” So kudos to the band on that. Clearly they did something right.

Probably all that kicking ass. Yeah, that’s probably it.

Still, even with genre intricacy behind them, they’re an interesting pickup for Season of Mist, and one wonders where exactly they’ll fit on the label’s roster — other, of course, than very likely on tour with Weedeater again. Plenty of time for such things to shake out.

The PR wire made it official:

hyborian photo robert menzer

HYBORIAN sign to Season of Mist

Season of Mist are proud to announce the signing of HYBORIAN. The Kansas City-based heavy metal riff machine (Martin Bush – Guitar, Vocals, Ryan Bates – Guitar, Vocals, Justin Rippeto – Drums, and Anthony Diale – Bass) will reissue their acclaimed debut ‘Vol. 1’ through Season of Mist in early 2018.

Regarding their signing HYBORIAN comment: “Hyborian is beyond excited to be signing with Season of Mist. SOM is home to some of our favorite bands of all time, and we feel incredibly proud to be able to work with a label that has been so very crucial to creating the landscape of modern heavy music.”

‘Vol. 1’ was recorded by the band at their self-built studio, mixed by Justin Mantooth at Westend Studios (RADKEY, GODMAKER), and mastered by Nick Zampiello (TORCHE, ISIS, OLD MAN GLOOM, TRAP THEM) at New Alliance East. It was originally released by the band (in conjunction with friends The Company KC) in March 2017 and tells the tale of an extra-dimensional, cloaked being called “The Traveller”.

The band explains the concept of ‘Vol. 1’; “Hyborian-Volume I is a collection of stories from the dawn of humanity, events that occurred before the advent of the written word. It is the first in a series of legends from different epochs as told by a figure named The Traveller. The Traveller is a being that exists outside of humanity’s understanding of space and time. He is the source of all life in the universe, but is not omnipresent. He wanders the cosmos, visiting and recording times of great strife or hardship, great suffering or great triumph. We are his chosen mouthpiece on Earth, so we relate those stories, whether from far in the past or far in the future.”

HYBORIAN have been touring extensively since their 2015 formation. In addition to tours with GODMAKER and on their own, they have supported the likes of POWER TRIP, ACID KING, MUTOID MAN, WEEDEATER, IRON REAGAN, VEKTOR, WHORES and many more in the Midwest.

https://www.facebook.com/HyborianRock/
https://hyborianrock.bandcamp.com/
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Hyborian, Vol. I (2017)

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Æsthetica Premiere “Ekstasis”; Debut Album Sonorous Æon out Dec. 8

Posted in audiObelisk on November 16th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

aesthetica-by-Peder-Blumlein

Norwegian four-piece Æsthetica will release their debut album, Sonorous Æon, on Dec. 8 via Esetiske Studier and Fysisk Format, and though thoroughly based in doom at its roots, it’s a six-song outing that nonetheless blurs the lines of subgenres and influences almost on a per-track basis. A sense of post-metallic drama of atmosphere pervades “Todesfuge,” for example, which hits after rolling opener “Haze” calls to mind the heavy-soul delivery of Goatsnake and Gozu. Comprised of Tobias Brynildsbakken HuseSimon Dahl OkoniweskiVetle Bråten Rian and Petter Rosendahl Moland — everybody gets three names; no more, no less — Æsthetica structure their first offering as a two-sided vinyl wherein each half features two cuts just under six minutes long and one longer one on either side of 10, and feel cohesive and self-aware in their approach even as they seem to be staking a claim on such varied stylistic ground as the alternately spacious and crushing side A finale “La Paz,” which moves from open-air guitar noodling to deeply weighted riffage and hits 10:36 as the longest inclusion on Sonorous Æon.

One could hardly consider the range of Æsthetica, whose very moniker speaks to a commitment to or at least awareness of style as an essential facet of art, to be a detriment in the first place, but what makes Sonorous Æon work particularly well is its front to back flow. As the somewhat grim march at the end of “Todesfuge” (‘Death Fugue,’ in German, aesthetica sonorous aeoncomplete with a lengthy spoken sample also in the same language) gives way to the vastness of “La Paz,” initially populated by echoing guitar and flourish of cymbal wash, the band do well to consider overarching presentation. Indeed, the same holds on side B as the airy post-rockisms of second-half-leadoff “Gates” build to an understated head and drop to the sparsest and most contemplative moment on Sonorous Æon, from which a couple seconds of feedback signal the slam into post-Electric Wizard riffing that’s to come in the penultimate “Worshipper.” These borders are crossed with confidence, as they must be to work at all, and while Æsthetica would have their work cut out for them in trying to meld all of these impulses into one overarching sound or idea, they show on their debut that they’re able to tie them together all the same and conjure a sensibility that forces the listener to think of Sonorous Æon as a whole work rather than assembled component parts.

At 9:57, “Ekstasis” closes out Sonorous Æon in answer to “La Paz” back on side A, and in so doing would seem to provide an opportunity for summary or final expansion into new ground. By then, as they approach the total 44 minutes that make up the album, it’s little surprise they choose the latter, bringing in a near-gothic theatricality amid guitar drift anchored by the heft of the corresponding bass tone as the drums push it forward. As they have across the record’s span, the vocals prove a uniting and commanding presence, and as “Ekstasis” builds in pace toward its midsection crashout, it would seem Æsthetica are looking to deliver the crescendo early, but in fact it’s a ruse, and instead, they set themselves up for a two-part cycle, essentially tearing down the fabric of one payoff in order to begin building another, even more satisfying one from the ground up. Instrumental and consuming, the back half of “Ekstasis” makes as fitting a closing argument for Sonorous Æon as anything might, and the album finishes on a resonant pluck of strings to reaffirm the space created.

Today I have the pleasure of hosting “Ekstasis” as a track premiere ahead of the Dec. 8 release of Sonorous Æon. Please find it on the player below, followed by more background on Æsthetica from the PR wire, and please enjoy:

Æsthetica, “Ekstasis”

From the densely wooded suburbs just outside of Oslo a deep, dark sound has emerged with the sonic intensity of Armageddon and the wistful sonorities of the birds. Æsthetica are a self-styled doom, post-rock band from Kolbotn whose live shows have mesmerised audiences for its fierce fervor and great big swathes of sound that envelop the listener like a mysterious mist. Combining elements of doom, progressive blues rock, eastern scales and even tubas, Æstethica have cultivated a sound uniquely their own and their debut album Sonorous Æon is bringing this to the recorded format for the first time.

Theirs is a bold new sound lifted from the petrified footsteps left by bands like Black Sabbath, Swans and Godspeed! You black Emperor and shaped by a stark coldness that lies beyond the tundra. Æsthetica’s textures are dense and powerful and without provocation they lure the listener into a calm noise that lies just beyond the superficial. It’s a quiet noise that’s best experienced in the live context, which the young four-piece group dominate with a sonic presence.

Recorded and mixed in Asker by Are Sorknes, mastered by Jack Control at Enormous Door Mastering.

Artist: Æsthetica
Title: Sonorous Æon
Release: December 8th, 2017
Label: Esetiske Studier/Fysisk Format

Tracklist:
1. Haze
2. Todesfuge
3. La Paz
4. Gates
5. Worshipper
6. Ekstasis

Æsthetica are:
Tobias Brynildsbakken Huse
Simon Dahl Okoniweski
Vetle Bråten Rian
Petter Rosendahl Moland

Æsthetica on Thee Facebooks

Æsthetica on Bandcamp

Fysisk Format website

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