THE OBELISK ALL-DAYER: Official Poster & Runtimes Revealed

Posted in The Obelisk Presents, Visual Evidence on June 30th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk all-dayer poster skillit

Buy Tickets Here

Gaze upon its countenance and realize just how fucking awesome this show is going to be.

Aug. 20 at Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn marks the first-ever The Obelisk All-Dayer, a one-of-a-kind celebration of things heavy, noisy, psychedelic, progressive, and weird. In addition to being the first New York appearances for French heavy psych mavens Mars Red Sky, Amsterdam-based motor-rockers Death Alley, West Coast riff-rollers Snail and bizarro Texas punks Funeral Horse, The Obelisk All-Dayer will feature food on-hand, full and recorded sets, limited-edition posters and other merch, and an afterparty with DJ Adzo (aka Adam Kriney of Brooklyn’s The Golden Grass) and Walter Roadburn (the man behind the internationally renowned Roadburn festival).

Today the official poster, which will be available at the Vitus Bar in a limited and one-time run of 50, has been revealed. Art is by Los Angeles-based designer Sean “Skillit” McEleny, who has worked with numerous acts across both coasts as well as the header for this site and perfectly captures the strange awe and wonder that the show is certain to elicit front-to-back.

Following the revelation earlier this month of the complete lineup, the set runtimes are now also available:

the obelisk all-dayer logo skillit-700

Mars Red Sky* 10:10-11:40
Death Alley* 8:50-9:50
Snail* 7:30-8:30
Kings Destroy 6:30-7:10
EYE 5:30-6:10
Funeral Horse* 4:30-5:10
King Buffalo 3:30-4:10
Heavy Temple 2:30-3:10
(Afterparty with DJ Adzo & Walter Roadburn* 12-2AM)
* Debut appearance in NYC

Set times are firm. The Obelisk All-Dayer is proud to be giving these bands enough time to flesh out their performances, as opposed to rushing one into the next in a festival. The intent is that the day will be a laid-back party more than a festival, from the start of Heavy Temple‘s cult-worthy riffing through the psych-blues bliss of King Buffalo, the possibly-cape-inclusive doings of Funeral HorseEYE‘s lush progressive rock, locals Kings Destroy‘s aggro noise push and the one-two-three punch of SnailDeath Alley and Mars Red Sky, none of whom has ever played New York before.

Get your tickets immediately.

The Obelisk All-Dayer tickets

The Obelisk All-Dayer event page

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Vinnum Sabbathi and Terror Cósmico Announce Mexican Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 27th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Mexican upstarts Vinnum Sabbathi are on the cusp of releasing their debut full-length, Gravity Works, and to herald its arrival they’ll hit the road at the end of next month alongside Terror Cósmico for a quick run of shows in cities like Guadalajara and Monterrey before closing out with a gig together in Mexico City a few nights after the tour-proper ends. You might recall Vinnum Sabbathi issued their Fuzzonaut split (review here) with Bar de Monjas last year, and Terror Cósmico‘s own sophomore album, Devorador de Sueños, will have been out for a year by the time the tour starts.

The Fuzzonaut split left an encouraging impression of Vinnum Sabbathi, so I’ll look forward to hearing what might be in store with Gravity Works, but in the meantime, you can find a brief announcement on the album — which will be out through LSDR Records and Aim Down Sight Records — and the tour dates below:

vinnum sabbathi tour-700

Terror Cósmico & Vinnum Sabbathi will be touring 6 cities around Mexico plus a show in Mexico City where the bands are based during the end of August and beginning of September.

Terror Cósmico are promoting their second album “Devorador De Sueños” wich came out on August of the last year via Concreto Records, their live sets will also include a bunch of songs from their debut album “Muerte Y Transfiguración” also released by Concreto Records.

Vinnum Sabbathi will be supporting their upcoming first Album “Gravity Works” to be released in later August via LSDR Records in Mexico and Aim Down Sight Records in Germany.

Terror Cosmico/Vinnum Sabbathi Mexico Tour 2016
Tour Dates
25.08.2016 – Queretaro – Cultubar
26.08.2016 – Jalisco – Foro Independencia
27.08.2016 – Morelia – Jeudi 27
01.09.2016 – Matehuala – Soul Rebels Bar
02.09.2016 – Monterrey – Nodriza Studio
03.09.2016– San Luis Potosi – Loud Open Stage
09.09.2016 – Mexico City – El Mundano

Vinnum Sabbathi, Fuzzonaut

Terror Cósmico, Devorador De Sueños (2015)

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GIVEAWAY: Win Opeth and Paradise Lost Vinyl from Music for Nations

Posted in Features on July 27th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

[TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post with your email address in the form. You’ll be contacted at that address if you win.]

Get yourself some free vinyl now by entering to win Music for Nations reissues of Opeth‘s Lamentations and Paradise Lost‘s Shades of God. Both releases came out through the reborn imprint on July 22 and are available now to purchase, but if you leave a comment on this post, you can get them both for free. No personal information will be kept, and you sign up for nothing by entering.

I’m going to guess if you’re reading this you’re already familiar with both bands, but here’s more info on these releases from the PR wire:

opeth lamentations

Opeth, Lamentations

Lamentations features a live performance of Opeth’s Damnation album in full, interspersed with songs from the band’s masterpieces Blackwater Park and Deliverance. Conceived and recorded alongside Deliverence, Damnation marked a radical shift in style and tone. The band took the opportunity to move away from their earlier death metal sound and towards a style reminiscent of 1970s progressive rock, taking inspiration from their Blackwater Park collaborator and producer Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree).

Lamentations was recorded live at the prestigious Shepherd’s Bush Empire venue, shortly after both albums were released.

paradise lost shades of god

Paradise Lost, Shades of God

The album, a follow up to 1990’s Gothic album, is seen as the moment where Paradise Lost moved towards a more doom-centric sound, while still encompassing a wide range of other musical genres, showing off the band’s creativity and inventiveness in forging their own distinct take on doom metal, a style that would be continued on 1993’s Icon.

The album also saw the band’s initial transition away from using traditional death metal growls by blending them in with clean vocals, and quieter passages at times throughout the record.

Special thanks to Music for Nations and Atom Splitter PR for letting me host the giveaway. Winners will be chosen one week from today.

[TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post with your email address in the form. You’ll be contacted at that address if you win.]

Opeth on Thee Facebooks

Paradise Lost on Thee Facebooks

Music for Nations

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Doomstress Announce “Wicked Summer” Midwestern Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 27th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

It was little more than a week ago that Houston dark heavy rockers Doomstress announced their forthcoming Wicked Woman single, to be released as a 7″ vinyl in time for their upcoming tour. There were a few shows announced at the time for that stint, including the Tennessean Sludge Fest, where Doomstress will headline along with Place of Skulls and Shroud Eater, among many others playing, but the rest of the tour has completely solidified with a Chicago venue just added for Sept. 3. Nice to get these things nailed down.

They’ll be traveling with Venomin JamesJoe Fortunato — apparently now also in Ancient VVisdom — on second guitar and continue to record new material as they go. Doesn’t look like the 7″ will be done in time to hit the road with the band, but something tells me this won’t be the last tour they announce. Call it a hunch.

From the PR wire:


DOOMSTRESS – Wicked Summer Midwest Tour


DOOMSTRESS hits the road for a series of dates around the midwest US as well as continuing recording new material at Supernatural Sound in the Cleveland, OH area.

DOOMSTRESS will consist of the recording lineup of:

Doomstress Alexis – bass & vocals
Brandon Johnson – lead guitar & backing vocals
Tomasz Scull – drums

and also on 2nd guitar:
Joe Fortunato – of Venomin James, Sparrowmilk and the new bassist for Ancient VVisdom!

8/18 – Indianapolis, IN @ 5th Quarter Lounge (w/ Archarus, Spirit Division & Ice Howl)
8/19 – Murfreesboro, TN @ Tennessean Sludge Fest (Place of Skulls, Shroud Eater, Order of the Owl, Flummox, Black Tar Prophet, Crawl & more!)
8/20 – Chattanooga, TN @ Ziggy’s Underground
8/21 – Louisville, KY @ Highlands Tap Room Grill
8/25 – Cleveland, OH @ The Foundry Concert Club (w/ The Great Iron Snake and Toro Blanco)
9/2 – Milwaukee, WS @ The Metal Grill
9/3 – Chicago, IL @ Township (w/ Fox 45 & Black Road)

**of Special note:
The “Supernatural Kvlt Sounds” ep was limited to only 150 CDs of which 1/3 are already gone! This ep and the upcoming “Wicked Woman” very limited edition 7″ single from DHU Records (due sometime this Fall) will be the only available recordings for our remake of Coven’s “Wicked Woman”!

Doomstress, Supernatural Kvlt Sounds (2016)

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High Fighter, Scars and Crosses: Trials to Bear

Posted in Reviews on July 27th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

high fighter scars and crosses

What ultimately stands High Fighter‘s Svart-delivered debut long-player, Scars and Crosses apart, aesthetically, is its aggression. The Hamburg, Germany, five-piece of vocalist Mona Miluski, guitarists Christian “Shi” Pappas and Ingwer Boysen, bassist Constantin Wüst and drummer/backing vocalist Thomas Wildelau made their debut in 2014 with the impressively cohesive The Goat Ritual EP (review here), and at its foundation, the story was much the same. Though High Fighter have been duly embraced by the heavy rock community in Europe and beyond, they’re really a metal band. That’s audible in their tonality, their attention to detail, in the clean singing and screams and growls of Miluski and in the arrangements of how and when she switches between them.

Mixed and mastered by Toshi Kasai (Melvins, Leeches of Lore, etc.) from a recording by Jens Siefert at RAMA Studio in Mannheim, the album’s 41-minute span is vehemently straightforward, with some flourish of effects in the guitars and bluesy undertone, but interested primarily in thrust, and when there’s any letup at all as on the swaying start of “Portrait Mind,” it doesn’t last long. It’s an active listen, and the energy with which they deliver the included eight tracks gives the impression of an active band — punching someone in the face, after all, can be a real workout — but what’s going to be the deciding factor for many listeners particularly within the sphere of the heavy underground is whether they view High Fighter‘s metallurgy as righteous in its defiance of a genre status quo that’s only gotten lazier over the last half-decade or a group simply trying to meld styles to whatever degree of success depending on the audience’s point of view.

Listening to the command with which Miluski and the band behind her execute this material makes it easier to argue toward the former. Adrenaline is a major element at work even in the slower chug and wah of the penultimate “Down to the Sky,” but in its more intense moments — looking at you, “Blinders” — Scars and Crosses plays to modern metal sensibilities with a viscerally screamed verse and soaring clean chorus. The dual guitars of Pappas and Boysen careen through riffs of winding thrash on that song but are no less comfortable dug into the more rolling groove of the preceding “The Gatekeeper,” which also trades melody for screams between its verses and choruses, but swaps the structure to suit the groove and the linear built taking place over the song’s five and a half minutes.

high fighter

Following 6:33 opener and longest track (immediate points) “A Silver Heart” and the subsequent “Darkest Days” — which features a choice “ough” grunt from Miluski and the most satisfying direct linear build on offer — “The Gatekeeper” expands the context of Scars and Crosses to a degree, finds High Fighter leaning more toward groove than assault, but as noted, “Blinders” is perhaps the most raging cut on the record, so the balance is readjusted almost immediately as side A rounds out. What unites those two tracks, the first two, and the four still to come on side B is the songwriting and the confidence in execution that High Fighter show across the board. The Goat Ritual showed solid potential, but Scars and Crosses takes pivotal steps in positioning High Fighter where they would seem to want to be sound-wise — in a space between worlds that few bands would be so bold as to willfully inhabit.

“Portrait Mind” continues the thread at the launch of the album’s second half but also boasts a highlight guitar solo, while the subsequent “Gods” seems to nod back at “The Gatekeeper” with a desert rock riff reconstituted to suit High Fighter‘s purposes, giving a fuller look at what might become an expanded context over time for their approach. That continues in “Down to the Sky” as they draw back on some of the urgency in order to let a fluidity take hold for a few minutes in the song’s first half, Wildelau‘s kick offering firm punctuation throughout and signaling the launch of the solo section in the final third with an uptick in pace leading back to the chorus. This leaves the title-track with an even more difficult task of summarizing the album as a whole.

It does so with a central push derived in part from Kyuss‘ “Odyssey” that arrives offset by a slowdown hook and layered-in lead work that solidifies around a still-upbeat but nod-ready groove before expanding outward with effects on the guitar, vocal harmonies and a move into the apex of the record itself before a final minute filled only by the hum of feedback. Certainly that says it all as much as anything I could come up with, and “Scars and Crosses” rounds out the album by emphasizing what are already the band’s strengths in songwriting and performance while also giving a look at possible sides of their personality they might play with going forward. Make no mistake, they’re already a solid band, and I think Scars and Crosses deserves consideration among 2016’s most accomplished debuts, but High Fighter give no indication in these songs that this is the sum total of what they have to say as a unit, and that only bodes well for their future progress.

High Fighter, “Blinders” official video

High Fighter on Thee Facebooks

High Fighter website

High Fighter on Bandcamp

Svart Records website

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Augustine Azul to Release Lombramorfose Next Month on More Fuzz Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 27th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

Brazilian boogie rockers Augustine Azul have inked a deal to release their debut album through the newly-minded More Fuzz Records. The band released their first EP — aptly-titled EP — last year and made a considerable impact thereby, enough to catch the ear of Tanguy Dupré of More Fuzz, who has set an Aug. 16 release date for the full-length. Preorders for the digital edition are up now with physical pressings reportedly to follow.

More to come on this one as we get closer to the release, but I wanted to make sure the info was out there now, so here’s background off the PR wire:

augustine azul Lombramorfose

Augustine Azul Sign to More Fuzz Records for their debut album “Lombramorfose”

Be ready for a unique blend of Instrumental Fuzziness, Insane Grooves & Progish/Bluesy Vibes!

Augustine Azul is a kickass instrumental trio from João Pessoa, Brazil consisting of João Yor (guitar), Jonathan Beltrão (Bass) and Edgard Moreira (drums). Their unique sound (yes you never heard something like that before) is focused on the progressive side of the moon, but still retains that “Heavy & Fuzzy DNA” that makes your neighbors call the cops.

After a well-acclaimed EP released in 2015, Augustine Azul come back in 2016 with their debut album “Lombramorfose”. This time even more ready to blast their fuzzy grooves to the world by signing with the newly born label of the More Fuzz blog: More Fuzz Records. The digital-only release date is set for August 16th and is already in Pre-Order on Bandcamp, physical options will come in a near future.

More Fuzz Records was created by Tanguy Dupré, also the creator of the Stoner Rock blog More Fuzz. After 2 years reviewing albums and sharing news about this Fuzzy music scene, it was the next logical step to launch a label in order to support and be even more active in this awesome community. Our Motto: “Your Fuzz Dealer.”

Augustine Azul, EP (2015)

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Methra Post Video for “Dead Ram”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 26th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster


As they continue to support their new album, Acolyte (review here), Tucson duo Methra have unveiled a new video for the track “Dead Ram.” The clip is apparently a prequel to their last video, which was for the song “Hartley’s Cult,” the title derived from their purported obsession with Peavey amps — something you can see manifest in the wall of them that appears to be in the band’s practice space. It’s a tale of heartbreak, murder, wandering and death-sludge, and front to back it looks like it was an absolute blast to make. Which is as it should be.

That is the prevailing impression I get from Methra at this point, and it was true of the record as well: They sound like they’re having fun. The music lacks nothing for grit — it’s raw, nasty all over the place, even when they touch on a cleaner vocal here or a melodic part there, as indeed they do in “Dead Ram” — but it’s a very specific kind of fun that guitarist Nick Genitals and drummer Andy Kratzenberg are having throughout, like every time the cameras are shut off or the recording equipment is paused, everyone starts laughing. In a realm of music that sometimes seems so averse to enjoying itself on any level, it’s refreshing to see a band doing so with such brazen abandon.

You can check out the video below, followed by some comment from the band. Acolyte is out now on Battleground Records.


Methra, “Dead Ram” official video

METRHA informs viewers, “Upon completion of our ‘Hartley’s Cult’ music video, we realized the story was not complete. We asked ourselves, ‘WWGLD’ (what would George Lucas do)? The answer was simple; a prequel, with even better(worse) effects. Who was the Acolyte? What drives Him?”

METHRA’s new lo-fi visual production is the unsettling tale of one man’s descent into madness, and rebirth into The Acolyte. In the “Dead Ram” video, a crazed drifter can somehow hear METHRA practice on the other side of town….and he hates it. He’ll take an absurd trek through Tucson’s lesser known architectural wonders on a deadly mission to silence the grating sounds of disgusting music inside his head. This prequel to the “Hartley’s Cult” will horrify you. All stunts were performed with actual landmarks and operational firearms. You have been warned.

Methra on Thee Facebooks

Methra on Bandcamp

Battleground Records website

Battleground Records on Thee Facebooks

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Nathanael Larochette, Earth and Sky: Horizon Meeting (Plus Full Album Stream)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on July 26th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

nathanael larochette earth and sky

[Click play above to stream Nathanael Larochette’s Earth and Sky in full. Album is out July 29.]

First thing to know about Nathanael Larochette‘s solo debut, Earth and Sky, is that it’s actually two albums. Presented across a pair of CDs, one dubbed Earth and the other Sky, the complete offering presents distinct looks between its component parts, as Larochette — the Ottawa-based guitarist known for founding chamber neofolk trio Musk Ox — explores intimate pastoralia via solo classic guitar throughout the six-part initial movement before compiling a massive, 41-minute drone simply called “Sky” for the second. The separation of these two musical personae is worth exploring in itself, and we’ll get there, but the fact that Earth and Sky‘s beginning is fractured, cut up into different pieces — like the land itself — while “Sky” is presented as one larger entity should say something about the conceptual basis on which Larochette is working.

His material is complex, and songs like “Monument” show a bit of the progressive tendency also demonstrated in the likewise new 36-minute single-song full-length from Larochette‘s progressive instru-metal outfit, The Night Watch, even if the project as a whole is more related to Musk Ox for its foundations in quiet acoustic contemplations, just taken to a more pared-back place sonically. “Sky” might be more lush with keys and effects and whatnot, but I’m not sure I’d call the Earth portion of Earth and Sky minimalist in anything beyond its just-guitar, no-vocals arrangement ethic. The textures Larochette brings to life across the six tracks — and really, the seventh as well — remain vibrant and evocative.

Larochette made his solo debut in 2012 with Threshold of Transformation, a 14-track outing melding guitar, glockenspiel, cello, etc. with his own spoken word performance. Obviously Earth and Sky is looking to show a different face these four years later, but a clear expressive undertone comes through nonetheless, bolstered by the clarity of the production and the natural body of the guitar. The presentation is not overblown by any means as “Awaken” slowly takes hold to start the album, but neither is it raw, as the longer stretches of “Oceanic” and the nine-minute “Invocation” demonstrate.


As Larochette weaves the material into and through technically and melodically complex movements without losing the emotional crux underlying, the light reverb on his guitar almost becomes a character in the play. Earth and Sky was recorded and mixed by Simon Larochette in Nova Scotia and London, Ontario, and I’m going to assume that the common last name between Nathanael and Simon is more than just coincidence. Earth and Sky sounds like it was made with a familial touch, and that helps carry through not only the musical flow, but the thematic feel and intricacy of composition as well.

Of course, 37-minutes of solo guitar followed-up by a 40-minute drone exploration is no small ask of an audience, but Larochette meets this fact head on with an easy flow and immersive ambience within his songs, so that when “Slumber” — which no doubt could just as easily have been called “Death” — rounds out the first disc, its sweet wistfulness is no less engaging than was the launch of “Awaken” at the outset. What comes next is the slow unfolding of “Sky,” a departure in form and atmosphere if not entirely in intent. Given that the entire release is instrumental and that its two parts are standalone guitar and an ethereal wash, one might be tempted to combine Earth and Sky‘s pieces, playing both at the same time.

I did precisely that — waiting until “Awaken” picked up about two minutes in before starting “Sky” — and found the impression that both halves made together a deeply rewarding listen. Larochette has referred to the two pieces as “complementary,” but I don’t know if that’s what he had in mind. Even so, with variation of volume and timing, it is another layer of depth added to a work that, on its surface, seems to be simple but ultimately has so much more to offer. Taken on its own, “Sky” brings forward a post-rock sensibility as a central electric guitar figure emerges from the surrounding undulations of tone, but as the two play out together, the experience seems all the more resonant.

Nathanael Larochette on Bandcamp

Nathanael Larochette on Thee Facebooks

Nathanael Larochette website

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40 Watt Sun Announce Wider than the Sky Album Details

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 26th, 2016 by H.P. Taskmaster

40 watt sun (Photo by Ben Sommers)

If you’re wondering to what exactly the title Wider than the Sky is referring, the answer arrives in the new teaser for the album. Set for an Oct. 14 release with vinyl through respected purveyor Svart, the record is the second from 40 Watt Sun, the ultra-melancholic Welsh doom project led by Patrick Walker, formerly of Warning. Wider than the Sky follows the band’s 2011 debut, The Inside Room (review here), which garnered massive, massive praise the world over for its depth of tone and emotionality. Thus far — and by that I mean judging by the 1:46 teaser — it seems the PR wire is right on when speaking of sparser arrangements. It will be interesting to hear what 40 Watt Sun do with the spaciousness they create.

The PR wire brings the album announcement:

40 watt sun wider than the sky

40 WATT SUN unveil details of new album, ‘Wider than the Sky’

40 WATT SUN have today unveiled details of their long-awaited second album. Wider than the Sky is the much anticipated follow-up to 2011’s critically-lauded The Inside Room.

Once again self-produced by the band, the new songs were recorded over five days at Giant Wafer Studios, isolated deep in the heart of the mid-Wales countryside.

Wider than the Sky has been an album fraught with delays and difficulties. In a move intended to regain autonomy over their own recordings and future plans as a band, 40 WATT SUN have elected to self release the album via their own label, Radiance Records.

In the spirit of the band’s previous music, Wider than the Sky, is imbued with sweeping, soaring melodies yet sparse, minimalist arrangements. However, eschewing the solidifying wall of sound that characterised their debut, 40 WATT SUN continue to progressively explore and broaden their sonic palette.

As expected, Patrick’s lyrics, strung with aching introspection and pained nostalgia, hang on his characteristic and poignant vocals and delicate guitar lines, with Christian Leitch’s sensitive and nuanced drum-work, and William Spong’s thoughtful bass guitar gently revealing themselves in the folds of the songs.

From the majestic, sweeping melodies of slow-building opener Stages, to the stark bare-boned crawl of Another Room and the vulnerable, plaintive balladry of closer Marazion, 40 WATT SUN have created an album of painfully emotive, low-key rock music; one which shimmers with some of the most evocative, stirring songs Patrick Walker has written to date.

Artwork for the release has been created by Rebecca Freeman, a Falmouth-based, mixed media artist.

Pre-orders of Wider Than The Sky are available via 40 WATT SUN HERE, ahead of the scheduled release date, October 14. A 2LP vinyl edition of Wider than the Sky will also be released through Finland’s Svart Records.

Wider than the Sky
1. Stages (16:20)
2. Beyond You (09:42)
3. Another Room (11:56)
4. Pictures (09:50)
5. Craven Road (10:31)
6. Marazion (03:56)

40 WATT SUN are:
Patrick Walker: Guitars and Vocals
Christian Leitch: Drums and Percussion
William Spong: Bass and Percussion

40 Watt Sun, Wider than the Sky album trailer

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