The Top 20 of 2019 Year-End Poll is Now Open!

Posted in Features on November 29th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-top-20-of-2019-year-end-poll-header

[PLEASE NOTE: This is not the same thing as the Top 20 of the 2010s Poll, which is ongoing. This is 2019 only. Participation in both or either is welcome and encouraged.]

I was waffling on the idea of doing a year-end poll, since I didn’t want it to take away from the above-linked decade-end one. But when that went up, I said I might not do one for 2019 and the response here and on thee social medias was resoundingly in favor of having both. So…

Okay folks, here it is. Don’t let the opportunity slip. Get your list of 20 of the best of 2019 together and put it in the form below and we’ll do it up like always. Honestly, these polls and these lists are a tremendous resource to me, so I’m glad it’s happening, but especially with two polls going, maximum participation is all the more important.

Really. Get involved. Please share the link. Tell two friends and tell them to tell two friends. Buy a billboard on the side of I-95 in Stamford. Skywriting. Write your congressional or parliamentary representative. Whatever you can do to help spread the word, it’s appreciated.

Same rules as ever: You submit your list of up to 20 favorites on the form below. Anything from Jan. 2019 to whatever’s coming out between now and Dec. 31 is eligible. At the end, there are two lists, one of the raw votes, and one in which a 1-4 ranking is worth five points, 5-8 worth four, 9-12 worth three, 13-16 worth two and 17-20 worth one.

A sentient robot trapped in a bunker somewhere tabulates the results (with paper backups, of course; we’re not unaware of threats to cybersecurity), and they go up Jan. 1, along with everybody’s list.

Time to make it happen:

Extra special thanks to The Obelisk’s Much-Loved Technical Coordinator Supreme Slevin this time around, who has gone above in beyond in setting up a second app this time so the two polls can run at once. My deep gratitude and respect for his efforts knows no bounds.

Please note, no emails are kept or stored. The whole thing gets wiped after the lists are posted so we can do it all again next year. Thanks.

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POLL: The Top 20 Albums of the 2010s — VOTE NOW!

Posted in Features on November 4th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

top 20 of 2010s poll header

A year-end poll is nothing new around here. A decade-end poll, however, feels more like a special occasion. Here we are, on the cusp of entering the 2020s, and it’s time to take a look back at the decade that was. The landmarks. The albums that helped paint toward a brighter (or darker) future of heavy. The innovators, the purists, everything.

The same rules as the year-end polls apply. Here they are in the same cut-and-paste I’ve been using for years because I still don’t really understand it but it’s all set up by Slevin so I just roll with it: You submit your list of up to 20 favorites on the form below. Anything from 2010 to whatever’s coming out this and next month is eligible. At the end, there are two lists, one of the raw votes, and one in which a 1-4 ranking is worth five points, 5-8 worth four, 9-12 worth three, 13-16 worth two and 17-20 worth one.

And while we’re here, eternal gratitude to Slevin for setting up and running this poll.

We’ll do it for two months, from now until Jan. 1, and I’ll post the results on New Year’s Day. I don’t think I’ll do a separate year-end poll for 2019 unless the demand for it is significant, but of course anything released this year is eligible for that as well.

Maximum participation is sincerely appreciated. Here’s the form:

Everyone’s individual poll lists will be posted as well with the results.

Since 10 years is a long time, I thought I’d link to the past lists. You’re stuck with my list for 2010, since there wasn’t a poll that year. All the others are the poll results from 2011-2018, and I’ve never found a better resource than that for assessing what came out in a given 12 months.

The Obelisk Top 20 of 2010

Top 20 of 2011 Year-End Poll

Top 20 of 2012 Year-End Poll

Top 20 of 2013 Year-End Poll

Top 20 of 2014 Year-End Poll

Top 20 of 2015 Year-End Poll

Top 20 of 2016 Year-End Poll

Top 20 of 2017 Year-End Poll

Top 20 of 2018 Year-End Poll

Thank you in advance for taking part, sharing the link, etc. I can’t tell you how much I’ve been looking forward to seeing how it all comes out. Please note your email is neither stored nor used. Only asking for it to prove you’re not a bot. Much appreciated.

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Stahv Premiere “Voyage of the Dawndraper”; The Sundowner EP out Feb. 21

Posted in audiObelisk on December 9th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

stahv

Today, Seattle one-man outfit Stahv announce the Feb. 21 release of a new EP, The Sundowner, streaming where stuff streams and on limited edition tape through Solid 7 Records. Out as the follow-up to the project’s early-2018 self-titled debut (review here), it’s a quick instrumentalist run through a variety of anti-genre influences, maintaining a heft of atmosphere while exploring further reaches of echoing guitar in darkened progressive form. One might not know that from the noise-rock-origins-giveaway opener “Voyage of the Dawndraper,” which takes its skronk and you-go-here-while-you-go-here rhythm-making with jazzy seriousness and virtuosity, but from there, the prior single “All Seeing I” takes seven of the total 22 minutes of the offering and introduces a more willfully fluid course of post-heavy, upon which “Evhgot” builds with an added sense of churn and the finale title-track resolves in interweaving layers of guitar and drone, drums or drum sounds sitting out the final four and a half minutes to leave room for strumming breadth and undulating waves of keys or synth or effects or other noise.

It’s a course designed to be linear, I think. At lest that’s how it seems on listening. The leadoff is the outlier, which is a particularly progressive and — dare I say it? — fun move on the part of Stahv and Solomon Arye Rosenschein, who is the lone figure at the stahv the sundownerhelm of the band. It’s a purposeful act of disorientation. Meant to throw the listener off. Maybe that would happen wherever “Voyage of the Dawndraper” went, but it’s pretty clear that “All Seeing I,” “Evhgot” and “The Sundowner” all run together as a unified work, and before you get there, you have this bumpy two-and-a-half-minute ride through brash noise-jazz and, yeah, I’m sorry, but that’s just a blast. From the surf guitars to the freakout organ and the snare shuffle and the theremin-esque fuzz lead, it’s a rush and a head-spinner that by the time you’re two minutes into “All Seeing I” seems to have been a dream only to be led away by the melancholy YawningMan-of-the-Pacific-Northwest spirit of what follows, but that contrast, the sheer brazen nature of the incongruity, makes the whole release as far as I’m concerned.

That’s not to take away from the scope of what follows, however. Honestly, if Stahv put out The Sundowner without “Voyage of the Dawndraper,” I’d probably praise it anyway for its fluidity and the open-feeling nature of its course, the patience of its execution and the sense of atmosphere it builds. The fact that all of that happens after a two-minute blastoff, however, only adds an element of joy and celebration to the proceedings, even if those proceedings aren’t especially celebratory themselves. It is a surge of artistic honesty and playfulness that’s rare in underground music or otherwise, and as I find doing-whatever-he/she/they-want to be one of the most respectable drives a creative person or project can follow, it’s hard not to admire the entirety of The Sundowner all the more for the fact that it lets itself have a bit of a good time before getting down to business.

Again, the EP’s not out for another three months, so maybe sit tight for a bit until they get there, but between the premiere of “Voyage of the Dawndraper” below and the prior stream of “All Seeing I” (also at the bottom of the post), maybe you can get some idea of what’s going on with the thing. Listen to them back-to-back and you’ll get some sense of what I’m talking about.

However you go, enjoy:

STAHV – The Sundowner

On February 21st, STAHV will release The Sundowner EP, a 22-minute head trip dusted with traces of Meddle-era Floyd, Oxbow-style polyrhythms, bleak post-metal atmospherics, and auditory hallucinations a la Can. The Sundowner is the followup to STAHV’s self-titled 2017 debut.

A post-metal solo project by multi-instrumentalist Ari Rosenschein, STAHV expands its palette on The Sundowner to incorporate slide guitar, synth textures, even a smattering of vocals–new for the primarily instrumental act. The EP will appear on all streaming platforms with a limited-edition cassette version arriving via Solid 7 Records (Sons of Alpha Centauri, Yawning Man, Gary Lee Conner of the Screaming Trees).

The Sundowner’s opening salvo, “The Voyage of the Dawndraper,” pushes off the dock with odd-metered riffs and unhinged vocals. Included on The Sundowner, last year’s single “All-Seeing I” is a jumping-off point for the rest of the EP which takes STAHV into darker dimensions. At seven and a half minutes, the penultimate “Evhgot” incorporates both contemplative passages and frenetic soloing.

Live, STAHV has supported Scott Kelly of Neurosis, Sixes, Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, Mirrors for Psychic Warfare, Mondo Generator, Yawning Man, Indian, Usnea, and Conan. The band has also appeared on curated festivals like Northwest Terror Fest, Rat City Recon, and Freakout Fest.

Music: Solomon Arye Rosenschein
Image: Detail of Sundowner Moth by Bernard Dupont
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

Stahv on Bandcamp

Stahv on Thee Facebooks

Solid 7 Records on Bandcamp

Solid 7 Records on Thee Facebooks

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Doom City Fest Announces Inaugural Lineup for 2020

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 9th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

doom city fest 2020 logo

Some pretty grim artwork, and a heavy-ass show to go with it. The first-ever Doom City Fest is set for Feb. 22, 2020, in Mexico City, and it presents some immediately impressive international pull. Amid national acts 33Fumata, Satánico Pandemonium and Malamadre, you’ll note that a significant portion of the top of the bill comes from abroad. European post-metal forerunners Amenra, from Belgium, will headline, and Germany’s Mantar, Canada’s Tekarra and America’s The Obsessed and -(16)- will round out the nine-band all-dayer lineup. It’s a pretty striking assemblage, and at least within the more weighted end of the sonic spectrum, wants little for variety.

For the many festivals that populate the planet at this point, putting one together — even one that’s only a single day — is no minor task in terms of coordination and presentation, who needs to be where, what’s it going to look like and sound like and all the rest of it. Getting nine bands from your neighborhood on the same lineup is hard enough. To have a bill where the majority are coming across borders to play? And it’s your first one? I tip my hat to Doom City Fest 2020.

Info and ticket links, as per the social medias:

doom city fest 2020 poster

Doom City Fest 2020 – Feb. 22 – Mexico City

Arriving in Mexico City: Doom City Fest with a strong and fine selection of exponents of underground music in genres such as Doom Metal, Sludge, Post-Metal, Stoner and other aspects of heavy music.

The first edition of this festival will take place in Sangriento, one of the most interesting venues in the northern part of the Mexico City necropolis located in the ruins of an old factory.

? Limited tickets in early bird phase already on sale at $750.00 mxn
Until December 31TH OR SOLD OUT ? http://bit.ly/Doom-City-Fest.

An initiatory rite in the maelstrom of abysmal riffs, convulsive amplitudes and entheogenic frequencies.

LINEUP:
Amenra (Be)
The Obsessed (EE.UU.)
MANTAR (Ale)
16 (EE.UU.)
Tekarra (Can)
Fumata (Mx)
33 (Mx)
Malamadre (Mx)
Satánico Pandemonium (Mx)

Tickets: http://bit.ly/Doom-City-Fest

https://www.facebook.com/DoomCityFest/
https://www.facebook.com/events/434951907450787/

The Obsessed, Live at Psycho Las Vegas 2019

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Pendejo Post “El Rutger” Video; Touring in January

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 9th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

pendejo

I’m not a big conspiracy theory guy. I’m just not. I don’t believe in chemtrails or false-flag shootings, and I think a lot of the current spate of political conspiracy about the Deep State, pizzagate and shit like that is either people being angry and making up somewhere to put it because they don’t know where it should really go, or manipulation by political entities whose interests they serve. Frankly, I think if you look around at the world, there’s enough horrible, genuinely evil crap going on right in front of your eyes that it seems to me any efforts to hide it behind government mind control or some such, if they exist, simply don’t work. My country cut 700,000 people off food assistance this week, to save money after giving a tax cut to the uppermost reaches of the income bracket two years ago. That level of cruelty isn’t a conspiracy. It’s the news.

That said, I do have a couple favorite conspiracy theories. My number one has always been that all figures of power, wealth and cultural sway are actually part of a species of disguised lizard people who’ve taken over our planet, presumably to rob it of its resources, or maybe better, just to screw with us. I like that. I don’t believe it’s true, but if you think it’s ridiculous, I’ll say only in response that it’s no more so than “god has a plan,” which is a thing plenty of humans believe. Flat-earth has been giving the lizard people a run for their money since I watched that Netflix documentary about it, but I think long-term, it’s still lizard people all the way.

All of this brings us round to Pendejo‘s new clip for “El Rutger,” which posits a conspiracy theory of malevolent blondes who’ve taken over the world who seem to be the progeny of Margaret Thatchet and Augusto Pinochet — because obviously. From the US to Russia to France to the Netherlands, these children have risen to the seats of highest power and are setting about destroying the world. The avenging angel, as you’ll see in the video, is himself a blonder: the recently-deceased Rutger Hauer. The actor most famous for his role in Blade Runner returns as a literal angel, wings and all, and sets the world to rights with fireballs shot from his hands. Or maybe he’s bringing about the endtimes? Now that I think about it, I’m not really sure, and of course, since the lyrics are in Spanish, I’m relying on what minimal translation I can pick up from reading on the screen. I’m sure you can figure it out.

Either way, it’s kind of brilliant.

“El Rutger” here is an edit taken from Pendejo‘s 2018 album, Sin Vergüenza (review here), and the band have a quick string of tour dates lined up for next month as they continue to support that record. You’ll find those listed under the video below. The truth, as ever, is out there.

Please enjoy:

Pendejo, “El Rutger” official video

Video by Antonio Villar

Artist: ¡Pendej0!
Song: El Rutger
Length: 03:49
Taken from “Sin Vergüenza’.
Recorded, re-mixed and re-mastered by Pieter ‘Deyvi’ Kloos.
Produced by Pieter Kloos and ¡Pendej0!
Lyrics by El Pastuso
Music by Stef ‘El Rojo’ Gubbels and Jaap ‘Monchito’ Melman.

Pendejo Jan. 2020 tour:
JAN 9 La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland Centraf’ Tropic
JAN 10 Luzern, Switzerland The Bruch Brothers
JAN 11 Lenzburg, Switzerland Met-Bar
JAN 12 Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany ArTik
JAN 16 KufA Haus Westbahnhof 13
JAN 17 Jena, Germany Rosenkeller e.V.
JAN 18 Sittard, Netherlands Poppodium Volt

Pendejo on Thee Facebooks

Pendejo on Bandcamp

Pendejo website

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Spaceslug Post “Half-Moon Burns” Video; Reign of the Orion out Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 9th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

spaceslug

This past Friday, Polish three-piece Spaceslug offered up their latest release, Reign of the Orion (review here), through Kozmik Artifactz and BSFD Records as their second outing of the year behind participating earlier in 2019 in a four-way split with all-Polish acts. They present Reign of the Orion as an EP, and where I’ll argue all day long that it’s in fact an album — if a shorter one than the one they put out before it, 2018’s Eye the Tide (review here) — in my most honest assessment I’m just an old dingus sitting at a laptop clacky-clackying away in the middle of the night and I don’t know shit about shit, man. Leave that shit to the shit-knowers.

“Half-Moon Burns,” with a new video by Chariot of Black Moth, is an important moment on Reign of the Orion — full-length or not. Eye the Tide was a crucial moment for Spaceslug in that it saw them bring in more aggressive undertones to what had previously been a more laid back heavy psychedelic feel. Their first two albums were jammier, more languid, where Eye the Tide dared to touch on extreme metal in a way that didn’t necessarily let go entirely of the lysergic vibe either. The result was gorgeous and it’s precisely upon that foundation that “Half-Moon Burns.” The shouts that come through intertwined with the sort of droning cleaner vocals are emblematic of this approach, and it works in terms of the sheer sound as well as on an aesthetic level. It’s somewhat less distinctly blackened than were those moments on Eye the Tide, but “Half-Moon Burns” gets the point across that Spaceslug have no interest in ceasing their exploration on multiple fronts, and that their efforts are only growing more cohesive as time — and not that much of it, mind you; remember Eye the Tide came out last year — passes.

Look. I know that in a given week or even on a given day, sometimes I write about a lot of bands. They’re not all Spaceslug, and at this point I feel pretty confident in saying I know the difference when a band is onto something special in their craft, or sound, or general approach to the work. If you haven’t given these guys a shot yet because maybe you saw the name and you were like, “yeah, another stoner band” or whatever other reason, at this point you’re missing out, but it’s not at all too late. Just take a listen and see how this one hits you. If you’ve got time to leave a comment, I’d love to know what you think.

Please enjoy:

Spaceslug, “Half-Moon Burns” official video

We present “Half-Moon Burns” with music video by Chariot Of Black Moth. Taken from the EP “Reign Of The Orion” out December 6th, 2019.

“Reign Of The Orion” will be available as CD / LP and digital album.

Have fun with that and share that fun with others!

BSFD 2019
Kozmik Artifactz 2019

Spaceslug on Thee Facebooks

Spaceslug on Bandcamp

Spaceslug on Instagram

Kozmik Artifactz website

Kozmik Artifactz on Thee Facebooks

BSFD Records on Thee Facebooks

BSFD Records website

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Yuri Gagarin to Release The Outskirts of Reality Jan. 31; Preorders up This Week

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 9th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Blastoff is pretty immediate in the teaser for Swedish space rock demons Yuri Gagarin‘s new album, The Outskirts of Reality, which is due out Jan. 31 through Sound Effect Records in Greece and Kommun 2 in Sweden itself. Some teasers, they give you a minute of a single song, or maybe even less than that. Some have 30 seconds of ambient nothing and kind of leave you feeling like a sucker for hoping for some substance. Yuri Gagarin, on the other hand, present nearly five minutes of an album that as far as I’m concerned can go on as long as it likes given what I’m hearing so far.

The Outskirts of Reality will comprise five tracks — one fewer than its predecessor, 2015’s At the Center of All Infinity — and I don’t hear a bummer note at all in the teaser as it gives a sampling of each of those pieces. I’m assuming “Laboratory 1” is the drone-sounding piece, if only because its title sounds like something a band might call an experimental track like that, but otherwise, Yuri Gagarin sound like they’ve got their intermix chamber aligned to the proper matter/antimatter ratios and are ready to punch it to warp seven the second they leave drydock. You got a list of albums you’re looking forward to in 2020? I do. Yuri Gagarin are on it.

Info about the record is pretty minimal at this point, apart from the tracklisting, the audio in the teaser, and the righteous gatefold cover art by Påhl Sundström — so not nothing, I guess — but I’d keep an eye out for perhaps more details to come later this week as they launch preorders on Dec. 13. If I was gonna, say, put out a whole track and the full album details to follow-up the teaser, that’d probably be the day to do it. Not trying to tell anyone to run their publicity campaign or anything.

Here’s what’s out there so far:

yuri gagarin the outskirts of reality

Yuri Gagarin – The Outskirts of Reality

Here’s a teaser for our new full length album: The Outskirts Of Reality. The artwork is made by Swedish artist Påhl Sundström.

It will be available on LP and CD on Kommun 2 Records and Sound-Effect Records January 31.

Pre-sales will be available December 13. More info coming soon.

Tracks:
QSO
Oneironaut
Crystal Dunes
Laboratory 1
The Outskirts Of Reality

https://www.facebook.com/yurigagarinspacerock/
https://www.instagram.com/yurigagarinband/
https://yurigagarinswe.bandcamp.com/
http://yurigagarin.bigcartel.com/
http://www.motljud.com/
https://www.soundeffect-records.gr/

Yuri Gagarin, The Outskirts of Reality album teaser

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Friday Full-Length: Lord Vicar, Signs of Osiris

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 6th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

It has only ever been appropriate that the cover art of Lord Vicar albums should be classical-style paintings. Their work on the whole is very much about being in conversation with masters even as they’ve emerged as masters themselves, and it adds to the poise within their traditionalist doom, while placing in context the sense of reverence for form with which their material is executed. Their second album, Signs of Osiris, was released in 2011 through The Church Within Records as the follow-up to 2008’s debut, Fear No Pain, as well as roughly concurrent splits with Griftegård and Funeral Circle (review here), on Ván Records and Eyes Like Snow, respectively. It was a busy time for the four-piece of vocalist Christian “Lord Chritus” Linderson, guitarist/Mellotronist Kimi “Peter Vicar” Kärki, bassist Jussi “Iron Hammer” Myllykoski and drummer Gareth Millsted, but the clarity of their purpose continues to resound through the timeless/anachronistic doom they crafted. Kärki‘s songwriting is at the root of much of Signs of Osiris but with early contributions from Myllykoski on “The Answer” and Millsted on the multi-movement “Child Witness (Including ‘The Father’ and ‘The Pain of a Maiden’ and ‘Release’),” a sense of variety emerges throughout the 58-minute seven-tracker even beyond that which the flourish of acoustic guitar in opener “Signs of Osiris Slain” that later manifests in the acoustic-led penultimate cut “Endless November” already brings. Whether it’s longer-form pieces like the 15-minute finale “Signs of Osiris Risen (Including ‘Isis and the Needle’ and ‘The Ritual’ and ‘For the Love of War’),” or “Child Witness” and the subsequent “Between the Blue Temple and the North Tower” — both of which hover around nine and a half minutes — or the more active and rolling tempos of “Signs of Osiris Slain” and the later “Sinking City,” Lord Vicar manifest doom not as an elitist standard or fodder for a backpatch or a slogan in some meme, but as an emotive and existential mode of being. It’s doom as a way of life, turned into songs.

Unavoidably, the focus on Lord Vicar will forever be Linderson and Kärki. There’s just no getting away from it, and frankly I’m not sure there should be. One’s Lord, and one’s Vicar, and the band is called Lord Vicar. More than a decade after their founding, it still doesn’t seem like an accident, and when one considers their pedigree, with Chritus having served the crusade in Count Raven, Saint Vitus, Terra Firma and more recently Lord Vicar Signs of Osirison the first two Goatess LPs, and Kärki‘s multi-faceted creative force manifest in E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr, Orne, Reverend Bizarre, and so on, top billing is well earned. That said, right up there with the doomly tradition of follow-the-riff is secret-weapon-rhythm-section, and Lord Vicar live up to that on Signs of Osiris as well. Myllykoski would be out of the band by the time their third record showed up, but he and Millsted are locked in here, driving home the turns in “Sinking City” reminiscent of The Obsessed or carrying the midsection part-shifts of “Child Witness” as if to remind any and all listening that Black Sabbath at their heart were a blues band — in itself a perfect backing for Linderson, who is a better Ozzy than Ozzy has been since 1975 — while staying coherent, clear, and improbably straightforward. Even just the crashes behind the mellotron in “Between the Blue Temple and the North Tower” add to the grandiosity and the drama in that song’s first half, and when Millsted‘s bass takes the forward position to set up the riff that unfolds thereafter for a short time, it is the stuff of doomed glory. It’s easy to put the focus on Linderson and Kärki, and again, I’m not sure it’s inappropriate to do so either, but Signs of Osiris demonstrates plainly from Osiris’ slaying to Osiris’ rising that Lord Vicar have always been a full band in terms of impact. Even the cymbal washes later in “Endless November” add to that track’s acoustic melody and the classical-styled folkish guitar work that Kärki would later manifest through his solo work.

That song is a highlight of the album, and not just for its departure from the tonal heft that surrounds or the manner in which it builds at its conclusion to transition into “Sign of Osiris Risen,” but the hook of “Child Witness” — strong enough to pull the band back to it even after their running through the subsections in one-after-the-next-fashion — also serves as a standout, and the rocking “The Answer” does likewise, again bringing to light what the rhythm section adds to the core of guitar and vocals. Of course, that’s not to take away from Kärki‘s craftsmanship on the opener and its companion closer, “Between the Blue Temple and the North Tower,” “Sinking City” or “Endless November,” which is no less effectively consuming in its doom than one could ask it to be, or from the performance of Linderson, which is stellar in such a way as to highlight how generally undervalued he is as a frontman in the genre. After a split with Revelation in 2012 that was Myllykoski‘s final release with the band, it would be four years before they resurfaced with 2016’s Gates of Flesh (review here), bringing in bassist Rich Jones, who like Millsted, is based in the UK as opposed to Finland or Sweden. This incarnation of the band would prove no less potent than the preceding, and even as Linderson split time with Goatess and Kärki explored solo work, Lord Vicar remained active in writing and performing. Gates of Flesh received a follow-up earlier this year with The Black Powder (review here), which will shortly feature again around here on the list of 2019’s best releases, as it was certainly among the most gloriously doomed offerings of the last 12 months, continuing to show the inescapable power of what Lord Vicar do to move, affect, and sway the listener to its own spiritual alignment, as did Signs of Osiris, and as might a classical painting.

They recently played Hammer of Doom in Germany and have done other appearances to support the release, and if you’re ever in a position to see them play, I can only recommend doing so.

In the meantime, and as always, I hope you enjoy.

Guess the week’s over, since I’m writing a Friday Full-Length post. That’s cool. I’m sure the weekend will be super-restful.

Ha.

This week it was Wednesday. Wednesday was the hard day. Wednesday was the day I was looking at the clock unable to believe it wasn’t even 10AM yet. The Pecan and I didn’t leave the house because it was cold and looked shitty out and I couldn’t even bring myself to go outside and warm up the car, and I had nowhere to go that didn’t cost money and The Patient Mrs. and I have been living beyond our means since, well, pretty much forever. Some days that shit catches up with you, I guess. That was Wednesday.

So the kid was a nightmare pretty much the whole day. Full-on fuck-you-wreck-shit-scream-hit-kick-bite-two-year-old madness. By the early afternoon, when I put him upstairs for a nap and he didn’t even go to sleep, I was ready to collapse on an existential level. Like, “How is this my life?’ It was bad. Even relative to the bad days, it was bad.

Yesterday, by contrast, Thursday, was easier. We went out in the morning to the grocery store, and my mother came and sat with him for an hour and there was other stuff going on during the day. He napped — hour-twenty; not terrible, not great — and afterward we ran a few errands then came back to the house and he ate dinner. The Patient Mrs. had left in the morning to drive up to Massachusetts for a funeral, so for a day that was 100 percent him and me, it actually wasn’t, and it was much easier for that. Kid’s better for everyone else. My mother’ll tell you he’s a gem.

Monday’s a blur, both this past Monday and this one coming. I’m going to go see Kings Destroy play an early show at Vitus Bar in Brooklyn tomorrow night with Borracho and a couple other bands, and that’ll be good. They’re doing a live record and I expect I’ll know a good number of people in the room. Om and Kadavar are also playing New York next week, but as of now I’m not planning to get to either show. That’s probably a mistake on my part. It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen either of them. I don’t know. I don’t get to spend much time with The Patient Mrs. these days, and our evenings together, even if we’re just sitting on ass watching Star Trek — actually, especially if that’s what we’re doing — have become pretty precious to me. I’ll do some math and see where I land.

So next week, that KD live review — “duh, they’re good” — plus a Church of the Cosmic Skull album review and a Doomraiser video premiere and Domo album stream later in the week. Only day I don’t yet have anything planned for is Wednesday. I’m sure something will come along, and if not, I’ve got a goddamn backlog of stuff on my desktop waiting for writeups. So yeah, it’ll be fine.

Don’t forget, The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio is on at 1PM Eastern: http://gimmeradio.com

Don’t forget, new Obelisk shirts and sweatpants and such at Made in Brooklyn Silk Screeners: https://mibk.bigcartel.com/products

And don’t forget to have a great and safe weekend, to have fun and be kind.

FRM. Forum, Radio, Merch.

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio Playlist: Episode 25

Posted in Radio on December 6th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

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As this is the final episode of The Obelisk Show… of the year — ha! gotcha — as well as being the 25th episode, it seemed only fair to make it a special one. As such, it’s a recap of Some of a Little Bit of the Best of 2019. Barely a snippet, really, but a digestible snippet as compared to, say, the full Top However Many list that’ll go up around here in the coming weeks.

This was a fun one to put together, and, frankly, easy. Yeah, I keep a running tally of what I think are any given year’s best records as the year plays out, but I pulled most of these just off the top of my head. Some are more recent, post-June, and some are from earlier in the year, but it’s all high-quality stuff, and though it by no means represents everything awesome that’s come my way — let alone all the stuff I’ve missed; Boris walks by and waves (on their way to the next Quarterly Review, anyhow) — it’s a fun look at some of a little bit of it. Hence the silly title.

I’ll be truthful and say I kind of miss doing this every other week, but it’s been once a month now for a couple months and I guess that’s fine. Gimme Radio has a couple other heavy rock-minded shows — John Brookhouse from Worshipper, Matt Bacon come to mind — but I’m still a little out there from that stuff, and I kind of like it that way. It’d be dishonest otherwise.

In any case, show’s on at 1PM today, and if you get to listen, I certainly appreciate it. Airs at http://gimmeradio.com

Here’s the full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 12.06.19

Nebula Let’s Get Lost Holy Shit
Monolord The Last Leaf No Comfort
Slomatics Telemachus, My Son Canyons
BREAK
Mars Red Sky Hollow King The Task Eternal
Blackwater Holylight Seeping Secrets Veils of Winter
Earth An Unnatural Carousel Full Upon Her Burning Lips
Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard The Spaceships of Ezekiel Yn Ol I Annwn
Roadsaw Along for the Ride Tinnitus the Night
Lo-Pan Ascension Day Subtle
BREAK
Saint Vitus Remains Saint Vitus
Orodruin Letter of Life’s Regret Ruins of Eternity
Destroyer of Light Dissolution Mors Aeterna
Lord Vicar The Temple in the Bedrock The Black Powder
Goatess Goddess Blood and Wine
Yatra Smoke is Rising Death Ritual
BREAK
Inter Arma The Atavist’s Meridian Sulphur English

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio airs every first Friday of the month at 1PM Eastern, with replays every Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next show is Jan. 3, I think. Thanks for listening if you do.

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Wooden Earth Premiere New Single “Fangs”

Posted in audiObelisk on December 6th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

wooden earth

Dallas, Texas, heavy rockers Wooden Earth are gearing up to release their new digital single ‘Fangs’ next Friday, but if you’re feeling fancy — and I know you are — you can stream the track on the Bandcamp player below. Recorded as the duo of guitarist Devin Moreno and drummer/vocalist Griffin Thomas, it is the follow-up to the band’s 2018 debut EP, Waves of Smoke, and finds them working along similar principles of putting their priorities in line as being groove, heft and a tight-knit execution of songwriting. The EP dug into some bluesy vibes, and though “Fangs” keeps the boogie and the periodic use of vocal layering/harmonies, it’s also somewhat more progressive feeling. Or at very least creatively willful.

Thomas and Moreno have been together as Wooden Earth for two years, and in that time they’ve had three bass players come and go as they’ve tried to assemble a touring lineup. Some you win, some you lose, but if “Fangs” is their way of testing out life as a duo, a lack of low end doesn’t seem Wooden Earth Fangsto be holding them up at all. Rather, in three and a half minutes, “Fangs” turns from upping the tempo on some Sleep-style riffing to play up a shuffle to paying that off with an Elder-esque turn of melody and drive in the second half of the song. All the while, it’s quick, and it moves. There’s an organ featured in there, unless it’s cleverly layered guitar effects — always possible — and though structurally it’s not such an outlandish turn from Waves of Smoke before it, in that melody and in Thomas‘ pulled-back-on-the-burl vocal approach, one can hear the sound of the band beginning to take shape. It’s nothing but encouraging.

They’ve been hither and yon around Texas for the last couple years, but especially if they decide post-“Fangs” to make it work live as a duo, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they started getting out beyond Lone Star borders and doing more tours. I don’t know what their plans are ultimately, but a debut album is an inevitability of the path they’re on, and “Fangs” only portrays them as more ready for that task than they were even a year ago.

If you’re in the Dallas area (and aren’t we all, really?), they’ll be at The Blue Light on Jan. 10 with kingpins Mothership as well as Bull by the Horn and Holy Death Trio. Got that event page right here: https://www.facebook.com/events/435447817399515/.

They offer some short comment below and there’s more from the PR wire, but of course the reason we’re all here is the song itself, so that’s right under these lines for your consumption. You’re almost there. Just keep going.

Good.

Enjoy:

Wooden Earth on “Fangs”:

We’re happy to be releasing our new song FANGS! The song is about conquering your reality with a blood thirst to survive. Pushing forward and building something great. Being optimistic when the world is at its darkest.

Dallas Texas WOODEN EARTH will release their new single “Fangs” on December 13th 2019.

Since their formation in 2017 the group has not only started to craft concept records starting with 2018’s Waves Of Smoke EP, but also written a yet-to-be-released comic book depicting the story behind the band. To become road dogs they have had to stay resilient, the core duo of drummer/vocalist Griffin Thomas and guitarist Devin Moreno have been through three bassists and are currently touring as a two-piece. Currently the band is preparing for a several week tour in early 2020 as well as the release of their debut album. This new record will see them building on the controlled chaos that is their sound and will build on of over a decade of playing together.

Wooden Earth is:
Griffin Thomas – Drums/Vocals
Devin Moreno – Guitar

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Wooden Earth on Instagram

Wooden Earth on Bandcamp

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