Friday Full-Length: Obsidian Sea, Dreams, Illusions, Obsessions

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

Obsidian Sea, Dreams, Illusions, Obsessions (2015)

Believe it or not, Obsidian Sea are the first Bulgarian band I’ve ever covered on this site. And hey, I’m only about three years late on the record, so, you know, bonus.

Last month, I had the thoroughly appreciated pleasure of being a guest on the Evropa Rawks radio program with hosts Maksim Stoimenov and Martin Petrov. If you’re interested in hearing me embarrass myself by ranting clumsily through such pseudo-insights as “social media changed things,” you can listen right here, but the point is I asked the duo for recommendations from their home country’s underground, and among the literal list of names and links I was sent (also thoroughly appreciated), were Sofia-based doom traditionalists Obsidian Sea.

Dreams, Illusions, Obsessions, which is the second full-length from Obsidian Sea behind 2012’s Between Two Deserts, actually had a US release as a 12″ in 2015 through Nuclear War Now!, but the CD version was independently issued by the band. At a vinyl-ready 40:26, it’s 15 minutes shorter than its predecessor, and its six component tracks — which break neatly into three per side — present a united front in that none of them is under six minutes long. That gives a somewhat monolithic first impression, which, frankly suits the three-piece’s grim aesthetic, but while the songs themselves intentionally follow the well-established tenets of classic, traditionalist doom, there’s a reasonable amount of variety contained within, whether that arrives in the form of the headbang fodder in opener “The Trial of Herostratus” or the more swinging groove of the later-arriving “The Fatalist.”

Echoing vocals and tonal resonance from guitarist Anton Avramov on “The Trial of Herostratus” help to bring an immediate sense of space to Dreams, Illusions, Obsessions, and in the solo section of the second half, as bassist Ivaylo Dobrev holds down the thickened rhythm, drummer Bozhidar Parvanov manages to sneak in a measure or two on his cowbell, but from the very beginning there is very little mistaking Obsidian Sea‘s overarching purpose. This is doom metal. Doom. Metal. And righteously schooled doom metal at that. At times less directly indebted to Black Sabbath, Candlemass, Saint Vitus or even the likes of Reverend Bizarre than one might expect — though, of course, by simply being doom a line can be drawn to any of them if one draws it in a roundabout-enough fashion — cuts like “Confession” instead recall the glory days of Hellhound Records and its fascinations with groups like Iron Man, Wretched, Unorthodox and Revelation. Again, Obsidian Sea don’t necessarily stay unipolar in their approach, and closer “Somnambulism” certainly embraces its inner Iommi with its creeping verse line and grandiose bridge and chorus riffing, but whether it’s the severity of crash in the central rhythm of “Child in the Tower” or the organ-laced theatricality of “Mulkurul,” which follows, there’s a thread of ’90s-style doom woven into the songcraft that ultimately serves to tie the album together in its overall flow.

And if one gets the sense throughout that Obsidian Sea are preaching to the converted, well yeah, that’s the whole idea. Listening to Dreams, Illusions, Obsessions as an American, there’s a tendency to think of it as coming from some far-off place, unimaginable as a document with commonalities of aesthetic. Such regionalist notions were never accurate to the workings of the world and are perhaps less so now than they ever were. Doom is universal. You would be hard-pressed to find a corner of the earth in which a riff does not somewhere reside, and why Bulgaria should be any different than Indianapolis, I have no idea. The truth of the matter is that while the style Obsidian Sea play and the fact that Avramov sings in English are no doubt influenced by American cultural imperialism, as a genre, doom knows no boundaries or borders and there’s no single nation, state or group who could claim ownership of it — Black Sabbath included — and not make themselves an immediate laughing stock in so doing.

Obsidian Sea will reach a decade of activity next year. Next month, they share the stage with Dopelord in their hometown — info is at their Thee Facebooks — but I haven’t seen word of a follow-up in progress to Dreams, Illusions, Obsessions one way or another. Doesn’t mean it’s not happening or that it won’t happen, just that they haven’t made it public. Sometimes a band doesn’t necessarily want to advertise every move they make. Nonetheless, I’ll be keeping an eye and ear out, and once again, I thank Maksim Stoimenov and Martin Petrov for helping educate me on the Bulgarian underground. If you need me, I’ve got more bands I’ll be digging into from that list.

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

Been up since 4AM. Happened twice this week that I went to bed around 9PM, woke up between 11PM and 12AM and never got back to sleep. Out of my mind. Nutritionist told me on Monday that if I kept doing things the way I’ve been doing them I would die. For most of the last several days as I’ve basically forced myself to eat things like fruit and bread for the first time in more than two years, I have considered death a preferred alternative. Delicious though fruit and bread are.

I’ve pretty much lost it. I could go on. Did. Deleted the paragraph. So miserable. So miserable. So miserable.

Here’s what’s in the notes for next week instead:

Mon.: Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard track premiere.
Tue.: Garden of Worm/The Wandering Midget split stream and review.
Wed.: King Witch track premiere; Black Space Riders vinyl giveaway.
Thu.: Most Anticipated of 2018 list (maybe).
Fri.: Nebula album stream/interview.

That Nebula stream is the first of three I’ll be doing. I’ve got interview questions in to Ruben Romano to talk about the reissues they’re putting out on Heavy Psych Sounds and I’ll be hosting the new versions of the records with the bonus material and whatnot. Stoked on it. The others will follow in the next few weeks, so keep an eye out.

Great and safe weekend. Forum and radio stream. Apples and bananas and blueberries and oranges and grapefruit and peanut butter and toast and soy milk and hopefully enough xanax to kill an elephant.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Troll to Release Self-Titled Debut March 16 on Shadow Kingdom

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

troll

Schooled in the mystical doom of old, Portland four-piece Troll will reissue their self-titled debut on March 16 via Shadow Kingdom Records. Nothing else to really say about this one beyond ‘fucking a.’ Not that Shadow Kingdom needed to do anything to flaunt its taste in trad doom at this point — they’re already putting out Iron Void this year, plus, you know, there’s the their-whole-catalog thing to consider — but Troll do make for an exceedingly cool pickup. The vibe is heavy, the tones, melodies and groove likewise, but there’s still something eerie beneath the roll of “The Witch” that, so much to the band’s credit, doesn’t sound like a cult rock put-on or play to genre. They just nailed the balance. And as ever, Shadow Kingdom knows righteous fare when it hears it. So much respect.

Troll‘s Troll is out March 16 on CD and tape, and as the PR wire informs, the band is at work on a follow-up. Dig it:

troll troll

Portland’s TROLL to have debut album reissued by SHADOW KINGDOM, preparing second album

Shadow Kingdom Records sets March 16th as the international release date for the reissue of Troll’s cult self-titled debut album on CD and cassette tape formats.

Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Troll released their first demo in 2015. Not long after came Troll, their debut album, which was originally self-released on cassette tape. Its original edition sold out quickly, and soon came to the attention of Shadow Kingdom. Duly impressed, the label simply had to release Troll’s album on wider-available physical formats and get the band the attention they so truly deserve.

And even just one spin through Troll and you can immediately detect the magic coursing through Troll’s molten stomp. Reverently within the doom spectrum, there’s a particularly swampy groove to their thundering chunder that’s less like something rooted in the American South and more like primordial ooze that’s been bubbling eerily since time immemorial. Likewise, Troll largely steer clear of regular rock-rooted verse/chorus structures and instead build rolling, rumbling epics that nod to classic prog more often than not. But, let it be known that Troll has a wealth of hooks across its concise and fully satisfying 34-minute runtime – and much of that stems from frontman John, whose pipes have that hauntingly forlorn quality of Ozzy in his early ’70s prime.

Ready for a trip through the eldritch slime? Then hop on the shoulders of this Troll! A brand-new Troll album will be released by Shadow Kingdom later this year. In the meantime, stream the entirety of Troll HERE at Shadow Kingdom’s Bandcamp, where the album can be preordered.

Tracklisting for Troll’s Troll
1. The Summoning
2. The Witch
3. An Eternal Haunting
4. Infinite Death
5. Savage Thunder

Troll is:
John – Vocals
Lou – Guitars
Ryan – Drums
Wayne – Bass

www.facebook.com/trollPDX
https://trollpdx.bandcamp.com/
www.shadowkingdomrecords.com
www.facebook.com/shadowkingdomrecords

Troll, Troll (2018 reissue)

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Doomstress Touring with Beerwolf in February

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

doomstress

Next month, Texas now-four-piece Doomstress will head out on tour in the company of Florida’s Beerwolf for a run through the Southern states. Normally here I’d write something about heading south for the winter, blah blah blah avoiding snow, but that doesn’t seem to be the way the universe works anymore. Nonetheless, Doomstress go in support of their new EP, The Second Rite (discussed here), which is out on DHU Records as the follow-up to 2016’s Supernatural Kvlt Sounds (video premiere here).

Doomstress have undertaken numerous tours since getting together about two years ago now, and one can’t help but wonder how much that process may or may not be playing toward progress on a debut full-length. With members coming from outfits like Venomin James, Project Armageddon and Well of Souls, there’s no lack of experience or pedigree behind them. Could be they’ve chosen to find their sound in front of an audience rather than in the rehearsal space, which is an admirable ethic, to be sure. I guess maybe I’m just anxious to hear how an LP from them might come across when they get there. Due time.

Tour dates came in from the PR wire:

doomstress beerwolf tour

Doomstress to Embark on Co-Headlining North American Tour with Beerwolf!

Houston, TX doom metal masters (and mistress) Doomstress will be hitting the road for an extensive North American tour starting in February. Joining Doomstress as co-headliners starting February 17th will be Florida’s Beerwolf. Here’s what Doomstress Alexis had to say about the upcoming tour:

“After playing with Beerwolf in Tampa, FL during our 2nd tour back in November 2016 and really hitting it off with these dudes, we are super stoked to have them touring across the southern US with DOOMSTRESS this February!”

Doomstress/Beerwolf North American Tour 2018
February 15 – Lafayette, LA – Freetown Boom Room (Doomstress Only)
February 16 – Hattiesburg, MS – The Tavern (Doomstress Only)
February 16 – Gainesville, FL – Loosey’s (Beerwolf Only)
February 17 – Mobile, AL – The Blind Mule
February 18 – Birmingham, AL – The Nick
February 19 – Memphis, TN – Growlers
February 20 – Oklahoma City, OK – Your Mom’s Place
February 21 – Arlington, TX – Division
February 22 – Austin TX – The Lost Well
February 23 – San Angelo, TX – The Dead Horse
February 24 – Houston, TX – Dan Electros
February 25 – New Orleans, LA – Santo’s Bar

Doomstress is out supporting their latest release, Supernatural Kvlt Sounds: The Second Rite. The EP contains remixed versions from the original, very limited self release and 7″ DHU single, as well as new song “Bitter Plea” recorded at the end of the Wicked Summer tour and featuring additional rhythm guitar by guitarist Joe Fortunato (Sparrowmilk/Venomin James/ex-Ancient VVisdom). The artwork that will appear on both the CD & vinyl is by renowned psychedelic artist, Goatess Doomwych.

www.doomstress.com
www.doomstress.bandcamp.com
www.doomstress.bigcartel.com
https://www.facebook.com/DoomstressBand/
instagram.com/Doomstress_band
twitter.com/Doomstress
www.darkhedonisticunion.bigcartel.com
https://www.facebook.com/DHURecords/
https://twitter.com/dhu_records

Doomstress, “Bitter Plea” official video

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Six Dumb Questions with Atala

Posted in Six Dumb Questions on January 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

atala photo jenifer stratton

One needs only to examine the purposeful creative growth undertaken over the last couple years by Atala to get a sense of the focus and intensity that drives guitarist/vocalist Kyle Stratton. The Twentynine Palms, California-based trio have, in the course of three full-lengths and as many years, developed and begun to refine an aesthetic as much dedicated to the individualism heralded by the Southern CA desert’s stand-apart-ness as it is distinct from the genre fare commonly associated with the region. Moving from their 2015 self-titled debut (review here) through 2016’s Shaman’s Path of the Serpent (review here) and the forthcoming Labyrinth of Ashmedai (review here) — which releases Jan. 26 via Salt of the Earth Records — Atala have worked diligently to find a sonic place of their own, and never has that been more manifest than in the crisp, mindful execution of post-sludge they proffer in the latest collection.

Produced like its predecessor by Billy Anderson (as in, yes, that Billy Anderson; he of manning the board for Sleep, the MelvinsNeurosisAcid King, so many more), Labyrinth of Ashmedai showcases its progression in the melody of “Infernal” and “I am Legion” as well as in the raw scathe of songs like “Death’s Dark Tomb” and “Wilted Leaf,” and through both, Atala have only become more recognizable as a unit. With Stratton at the forward position backed by bassist John Chavarria — since replaced by Dave Horn — and secret-weapon-until-you-actually-hear-him-play-then-way-too-loud-to-be-a-secret-anymore-weapon drummer Jeff Tedtaotao, the band present an atmospheric and conceptual reach that’s mirrored in the leanness of the songwriting and how little there actually seems to be to spare in their material. Labyrinth of Ashmedai is just under 36 minutes long. Not one minute of that time is wasted.

Likewise, Stratton does not mince his words in the interview that follows here, and I very much consider that another example of the forward-directed impulse that fuels his work with his band. Life is too short for bullshit. And it’s a fair enough argument. In talking about the album, Stratton — also a noted tattoo artist responsible for the cover art designs on Atala‘s records — relays his thoughts on the conditions of the world around him, his personal relationships, the status of the group moving into the New Year (and beyond), and more.

Please enjoy the following Six Dumb Questions:

atala labyrinth of ashmedai

Six Dumb Questions with Kyle Stratton of Atala

Tell me about choosing the title Labyrinth of Ashmedai. What’s the significance for you of Asmodeus and what does the use of that figure represent? Are you working with any kind of mysticism themes in the lyrics? How does the album art tie in, or does it?

The meaning behind the title Labyrinth of Ashmedai was quite simple: I wanted to use this fictional character as a way to conceal my truths in a metaphor. I wanted to vent my frustration towards the ludicrousy of anglo Saxon culture. I find it hilarious that our society is 70 percent people who believe in fairytales.

They use these fairytales to condemn others with different cultures, beliefs or even disbeliefs. At the same time using their religious beliefs, condoning their own horrible behaviors. I thought it would be interesting to wrap my frustrations up on a metaphor about raising the 72 legions of Hell and using the occult to damn souls for eternity. It was fun.

As far as the artwork, it is based off the three-headed demon Ashmedai; it is definitely meant to tie in. I prefer to use the original Hebrew name Ashmedai over the Roman copy Asmodeous. The religious texts were originally written in the Middle East not Europe.

In terms of following up Shaman’s Path of the Serpent, was there anything you knew you specifically wanted to do differently this time around? What lessons were you able to take from making that album and bring into the writing and recording processes for this one?

Truth is I wanted to drive more and be more aggressive both musically and vocally. I held back a lot on Shaman’s Path. I get bored with that stuff. It’s to blah… I want to be more honest in my art and I felt like we did that. I am not always sad or soft spoken. I can be. But, I am also at times aggressive and very vocal. Well, let’s face it: I am super bipolar.

Tell me about recording with Billy Anderson. This was your second time with him. What was the vibe in the studio like and what did he end up contributing to the record in terms of noise? How big a role has he played in how your sound has developed so far?

Most of the vibe and feedback is my guitar sounds, he contributed to the noise at the end of “Death’s Dark Tomb,” which was genius. As far as vibe in the studio. There was a whole lot of tension between John, the former bass player, and I. Our lifestyles were beginning to clash. Lots of tensions. I am a family man; he is something else.

That was something everyone in the studio had to deal with. I thought Billy was really good at channeling it, using the tension for the good of the record. He has helped mold us in as far as ironing out a few wrinkles but ultimately it is our songwriting. He is great at capturing it.

I was fortunate enough to see Atala play at Roadburn in 2017. How was that experience for you guys as a band? Will you look to get back to Europe in support of Labyrinth of Ashmedai?

It was a lot of fun. Especially with my hand-picked lineup. Playing with Jeff and Dave is my ideal lineup, I loved when Dave was in Rise of the Willing. We had a killer connection. Jeff, he is a rock, such a solid drummer and stable person. Holland was smooth and we were treated very well by the Roadburn crew.

I was proud of what we presented. Especially getting Dave prepared to play an hour set of material in just seven weeks. He and Jeff both did great. I am not sure if we are getting back to Europe this year but I am told it is in the works.

What’s the status of Atala overall going into the album release? You had put up a pretty frustrated-seeming post about dealing with making music and preferring graphic art and tattoo culture specifically. Will the band continue? What is the relationship for you between working in design and writing songs?

The band will definitely continue, with a team who wants to push forward in a more professional manner. I like the tattoo industry because I am responsible for my own art. Most artist in the community grind to pay bills and work as a means to earn a living with hard work and focus. My frustration, it was personal. I am tired of the elitism and the whole party scene, I don’t party anymore, so I don’t fit in well.

I am at point where I want to show my family and children you can play music as a career. Not just surround yourself with shitbags who will never amount to anything. I love Pentagram musically but I think characters like Bobby Liebling being marketed as “rock and roll” is embarrassing. I don’t want to be part of that. I would not be able to handle a person like that around me. I would be like, dude, get your shit together. I mean this is what we are told rockers are. Yuck. I don’t want to be that at all.

I just watched a good friend, a brother throw his fucking life away to drugs. That is some hard shit to see. I personally had to step away. In design I don’t focus too heavily on my own head – I draw what others want — whereas in songwriting it is very internal. Getting that far in my own mind is very dangerous.

Any plans or closing words you want to mention?

You can be cool without being a junkie. We all make mistakes and fall short at times. Just try and live the best way you can.

Atala, “Grains of Sand” official video

Atala on Thee Facebooks

Atala on Bandcamp

Atala website

Salt of the Earth Records on Thee Facebooks

Salt of the Earth Records website

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Orange Goblin Begin Recording New Album

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

UK stalwarts Orange Goblin have entered Orgone Studios in London with producer Jaime Gomez Arellano at the helm to begin tracking their ninth full-length. Presumably set for release later this year, what will be an awaited follow-up to 2014’s Back from the Abyss (review here) also marks a significant turn for the four-piece of vocalist Ben Ward, guitarist Joe Hoare, bassist Martyn Millard and drummer Chris Turner in being their first offering to be issued through Spinefarm Records, which signed them in 2016.

Though its been four years since their last offering arrived, Orange Goblin have hardly rested in that time. In addition to a complete touring cycle, they could still be found supporting Back from the Abyss last year at festivals like SonicBlast Moledo, Up in Smoke 2017, Desertfest Athens 2017 and, in their only US appearance, Ozzfest Meets Knotfest last Fall in California. Their influence having expanded greatly in their native England and well beyond, anticipation will no doubt be high when it comes to hearing what they bring to their next collection of material. I know I’m looking forward to it, to put it mildly.

In that regard, the choice of Arellano as producer is particularly striking. His metal pedigree is long and storied in producing, engineering and mastering, but recent years have found him directly associated with the output of Rise Above Records and groups like With the Dead, Ghost, Death Penalty and The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell. Of course, Orange Goblin have their history with releases through Rise Above as well, and Arellano has also recently sat behind the board on records for Sólstafir and Paradise Lost, but his involvement adds another level of intrigue to what’s in store with the new Orange Goblin LP when it arrives.

The band marked the occasion of arriving at the studio by posting a couple pictures and a quick update on the social medias, which you’ll find below. More to come:

orange goblin

It begins! Day one of recording album #9 at Orgone Studios with Jaime Gomez Arellano (Grave Pleasures, Paradise Lost, Ghost, Cathedral etc..) We are very excited about this one!!

https://www.facebook.com/orangegoblinofficial/
https://twitter.com/OrangeGoblin1
https://www.instagram.com/orangegoblin1/
http://www.orange-goblin.com/
https://www.facebook.com/spinefarm
www.spinefarmrecords.com/

Orange Goblin, Live at Desertfest Athens 2017

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Arcadian Child Post “Irresistible” Video

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

arcadian child

Granted, it’s only three minutes long, but in that time, Arcadian Child‘s new video does well in summarizing a key appealing aspect of the band’s debut album from whence it comes. The track in question is called “Irresistible” and the hook thereof just about meets that lofty standard in its unabashed pop catchiness, but like much of 2017’s Afterglow (review here), it also has a sense of expanse to it, a far-out vibe that extends to the heavy psych effects at root in its tones and the subtle-but-definitely-present rhythmic push that takes such care to keep it on  its efficient and serene course.

Where “Irresistible” doesn’t necessarily represent Afterglow is in the fact that it couldn’t possibly capture the full diversity of sound on the record without giving up that efficiency. Complemented by the post-desert heavy of opener “She’s on My Mind” or the cool Bowie-ism of “Little Late for Love” and the relative sprawl of the Queens of the Stone Age-style moodiness of “Run,” “Irresistible” can inherently only be part of the whole story when it comes to Afterglow, but in terms of the faces Arcadian Child show throughout, it’s one that well earns the focus that the video invariably brings to it.

And about that video — hey, look down: there it is! Its manipulated footage is duly atmospheric and duly colorful to do justice to Arcadian Child‘s style and sonic depth, while still showcasing the human core beneath in much the same way the tracks throughout Afterglow hold firm to traditionalist structures even as the explore various the textures being skillfully laid over top of them in songs like the fuzzy, semi-garage penultimate title-cut or the smooth, drifting and patient “Rabbit Hole” earlier. You can view the clip here, followed by more info about its making, and then check out the full stream of Afterglow from Arcadian Child‘s Bandcamp page to get a better sense of the context from which it arises.

Please enjoy:

Arcadian Child, “Irresistible” official video

Produced by Andreas Trachonitis and Arcadian Child
Mixed, Engineered by Andreas Trachonitis
Recorded at studio eleven63 in Nicosia
Additional recordings by Mikaela Tsangkari
Mastered by Yiannis Christodoulatos in Sweetspot Productions
in Athens

Video created by Iam Nothe https://www.facebook.com/IamNotheDesign

Live footage by Stephanos Charalambous

Psyched, potent and intoxicating, Arcadian Child deliver daunting guitar-orientated psychedelia blended with ambient elements, hallucinogenic patterns and cathartic outbursts.

Arcadian Child is:
Panayiotis Georgiou
Stathis Hadjicharalambous
Andreas Kerveros
Christos Dimou

Arcadian Child, Afterglow (2017)

Arcadian Child on Thee Facebooks

Arcadian Child on Spotify

Arcadian Child on Bandcamp

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Manthrass Premiere “Como un Volcan”; Mapa Estelar Due in March

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on January 18th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

manthrass

Buenos Aires-based heavy rock trio Manthrass are gearing up to release their second album, Mapa Estelar, in March via Buscando Records and Kenai Records. Whether it’s the deep-toned fuzzy rollout of the opening title-track or the classic-minded heavy blues start-stop swing of the leadoff single “Paso Firme” that follows, it does not take long for the Argentine three-piece to distinguish their sophomore outing from its predecessor, 2015’s Blues del Destino (review here). To be sure, as cuts like “El Luchador” punch home their forward-minded riffing and the post-Clutch groove of “Seguir es Ganar” lands itself in a dudely sing-along chorus of “ooh”s, there’s still plenty of burl shared from the first record to this follow-up, but the level of presentation has shifted entirely, and where Blues del Destino had a rawer bite to the guitar tone of Mariano Castiglioni and Ángel Rex Rizzo‘s bass and the vocals — duties shared between them with backing from drummer Federico Martinez — cut through dry and less assured, Mapa Estelar engages a smoother approach all around, and Manthrass sound confident in their craft and righteous in their execution as a result.

To record Mapa Estelar, the band returned to producer Damián Colaprette, and that consistency is important, since it signals a directness of intention in terms of their growth — i.e., it’s not just that they had somebody different helm their record. They didn’t. Granted, Mapa Estelar was tracked at a different studio than its predecessor, but with the level manthrass como un volcanof progression from the prior batch of songs to the smoothness of the balance in “El Ermitaño,” where Rizzo‘s basslines come through so crisply and excellently balanced in bolstering Castiglioni‘s guitar leads as Martinez rolls the track along with rhythmic fluidity, the development very obviously isn’t limited to presentation. Manthrass have grown as songwriters as well. And to be sure, while Mapa Estelar has a smoother, more cohesive feel on the whole, there’s no corresponding lack of impact to the material, as the Megadeth-meets-Sabbath verse-chorus transition in “Como un Volcan” shows in answering the initial push of the opener, Manthrass brazenly adapting the trappings of heavy metal to their own contextual purposes, and in just four minutes, affirming the identity the debut began to craft as an idea based around sonic growth, a pervasive lack of pretense and a penchant for hooks that come through regardless of any language barrier that may or may not exist for a given listener. That is to say, ignorant as I am, I don’t speak more than the faintest hint of Spanish, and I still have these songs stuck in my head.

Naturally, this is to Manthrass‘ credit entirely, but neither is Mapa Estelar necessarily limited to a single take in terms of style. The bluesier fare of “Seguir es Ganar” and “Paso Firme” is met head-on by the more rocking push of the uptempo “El Ermitaño” and the seven-minute jamming instrumental centerpiece “La Eterna Lucha del Gris y el Verde,” and the expansion continues late with the penultimate acoustic interlude “Bei Tempi,” which is under a minute long in the tradition of a quick Iommic bit of finger but still showcases a drive toward adapting more diversity of sound and bringing a sense of full-album flow to Mapa Estelar rather than simply presenting it as a collection of tracks. That difference is perhaps the defining factor of Manthrass‘ second long-player, but it’s no less crucial to underscore the lack of self-indulgence in their work overall. There’s nothing showy about Mapa Estelar on a performance level, and all the band seems to ask of their audience is that occasionally the nod turn into a headbang along the way, which given the energetic charge they put in from “Mapa Estelar” to the raucous-but-still-controlled finisher “Lejos” is by no means a chore. Beyond that, CastiglioniRizzo and Martinez seem bent on having a good time and grooving out as they make established classic tenets their own, and the quality of their output in so doing makes listening to Mapa Estelar an infectious pleasure in the front-to-back listening experience. The first record had potential, this one confirms it.

Take a listen to the premiere of “Como un Volcan” below. Mapa Estelar is due out this March on Buscando Records and Kenai Records. Quote from Castiglioni, album info and links follow.

Please enjoy:

Mariano Castiglioni on “Como un Volcan”:

I wrote the lyrics for “Como un Volcan,” and when Angel was recording voices he also add some sentences. To us “Como un Volcan” means that strength that we feel in the creative process, that inner force that everybody feels. The riff is mine also, reminds me something between Slayer and Howlin’ Wolf — heavy blues, man!

The time at [Zar Estudio] was amazing. The studio looks like a small cave in the north of Buenos Aires, but at the same time was very stressing, at least for me. The difference with Blues del Destino is basically the production, the songs, the time. We work with a drum DR this time. I recorded with five different guitars, and Damian Colaprette was there all the time with us.

“Como un Volcan” is a good song to represent the album, we are proud of it, for me sounds a little bit a NWOBHM — I love that era — with our touch, of course.

MANTHRASS – Como un Volcan (SINGLE)
From “MAPA ESTELAR”
New album (2018)

MARIANO CASTIGLIONI, guitar and vocals
ÁNGEL RIZZO, bass and vocals
FEDERICO MARTÍNEZ, drums and backing vocals

Recorded, mixed and mastered by DAMIÁN COLAPRETTE at ZAR ESTUDIO
Artwork by MARIANO CASTIGLIONI
Design by Agustin Croxatto
Produced by DAMIÁN COLAPRETTE

BUSCANDO RECORDS

Manthrass on Bandcamp

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Crippled Black Phoenix Announce Covers Collection Horrific Honorifics Due March 9

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

Anybody who covers Swans and Arbouretum on the same record is cool by me. Back-to-back to lead off the record, no less. Maybe the point is somewhat moot, since Crippled Black Phoenix already well exceeded that loftiest of standards, but in this age where media consumption so often boils down to little more than the reinforcement of one’s own pre-stated positions, a little more of that kind of thing never seems to hurt. What was the point I was making? Oh yeah. Crippled Black Phoenix are fucking awesome.

Season of Mist releases Horrific Honorifics, the new covers collection from the UK avant gloom rockers, on March 9. And yes, it includes Arbouretum and Swans at the outset, along with Magnolia Electric Co., The God Machine, NoMeansNo and The Alex Harvey Band, whose “The Faith Healer” you can hear at the bottom of this post. If, like me, you were feeling greedy and hoping maybe they’d take on “They Say I’m Different” by Betty Davis, fingers crossed for next time.

I’m completely serious, by the way. I know that last sentence reads like internet snark. It isn’t. I’d actually love to hear that. Just felt compelled to make that clear.

From the label via the PR wire:

crippled black phoenix horrific honorifics

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX announce limited edition album

International dark rock collective CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX are set to release a new covers album. The album, titled ‘Horrific Honorifics’, is a celebration of songs that have influenced CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX or its members in both music and in life. The album Includes covers of SWANS, NOMEANSNO, THE GOD MACHINE, THE SENSATIONAL ALEX HARVEY BAND, MAGNOLIA ELECTRIC CO. and ARBOURETUM as only this collective could re-imagine them.

‘Horrific Honorifics’ will be released worldwide on March 9th. Pre-orders for the limited edition album are available at the Season of Mist E-Shop.

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX are streaming “The Faith Healer”, a cover of THE SENSATIONAL ALEX HARVEY BAND.

Regarding the track, CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX founding member and vocalist Justin Greaves comments: “I used to watch the ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’ when I was young and I came across the ALEX HARVEY BAND on there. They did a great version on ‘Give My Compliments To The Chef’, which for years I forced upon the rest of the band when on tour. ‘The Faith Healer’ seamed to make sense when thinking of songs to cover. I’m glad it turned out ok. With James Ray on guest vocals, it gets an even darker edge. I’m thinking of adopting Zal Cleminson’s make up on stage for the next tour.”

Track-list
1. False Spring (originally by ARBOURETUM)
2. The Golden Boy Swallowed By The Sea (originally by SWANS)
3. Will-O-The-Wisp (originally by MAGNOLIA ELECTRIC CO)
4. Victory (originally by NOMEANSNO)
5. In Bad Dreams (originally by THE GOD MACHINE)
6. The Faith Healer (originally by THE SENSATIONAL ALEX HARVEY BAND)

https://www.facebook.com/CBP444/
https://crippledblackphoenixsom.bandcamp.com/
http://shopusa.season-of-mist.com/predefined-search?id_list=139

Crippled Black Phoenix, “The Faith Healer”

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