Days of Rona: Bill Kole of Ol’ Time Moonshine

Posted in Features on June 1st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the varied responses of publics and governments worldwide, and the disruption to lives and livelihoods has reached a scale that is unprecedented. Whatever the month or the month after or the future itself brings, more than one generation will bear the mark of having lived through this time, and art, artists, and those who provide the support system to help uphold them have all been affected.

In continuing the Days of Rona feature, it remains pivotal to give a varied human perspective on these events and these responses. It is important to remind ourselves that whether someone is devastated or untouched, sick or well, we are all thinking, feeling people with lives we want to live again, whatever renewed shape they might take from this point onward. We all have to embrace a new normal. What will that be and how will we get there?

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

ol time moonshine bill kole

Days of Rona: Bill Kole of Ol’ Time Moonshine (Toronto, Canada)

We Write Your Entire Business Plan. Professional Business Plan Consultants. BizPlanEasy How To Write An Application Letter Nigerias. How have you been you dealing with this crisis as a band? As an individual? What effect has it had on your plans or creative processes?

Ol’ Time Moonshine was in the studio laying down drums and bass for our new record at the beginning of March when the reports of the virus started to become more frequent. It wasn’t long before the shelter in place/quarantine orders came down. It’s now been a bit more than 10 weeks since we’ve all been in the same room playing together. We’ve been working on our parts for the record and taking care of some band business and promotion, including uploading our releases to streaming services after more limited release. The uncertainty of what the musical landscape will look like when this is all over has been weighing a bit heavily – a number of venues in our province have already shut down permanently since the pandemic began, and a lot more are close. Even when they open up, the capacity restrictions are likely to devastate their businesses. As a band we’re just taking everyday and doing what we can; looking after all the little projects we always said we’d do if we ever had time. The plan right now is to get back and start tracking guitars and vocals in June, which was our original target for completing the record. We’re lucky to live in an era of connected technology that can keep us together and informed if we choose to use it that way.

I’m blessed to work for a wonderful, family owned film audio support business that has kept me on payroll, even when the office was shut, and we’ve reached a point where I’m able to come in to the office safely, mostly working alone, for a few hours a few days a week. It helps break up the monotony of the days, and I’ve been walking the few kilometres to work to avoid public transit and get some exercise. It’s been wonderful to see my family pull together and be strong in the face of this, and to have friends and family making masks for one another, shopping for those less mobile, trying to make the kids in the neighbourhood feel special on their birthdays, etc. I finally was able to teach my daughter the basics of riding her bike after several seasons of trying, and we’ve done lots of work on our apartment to freshen it up. I’ve been working on a few album covers and posters in my free time (and a lot of revisions on posters due to shows moving). I’ve tried to keep getting up at the same time everyday and keeping somewhat of a schedule so that the days don’t just fade away into one another. Motivation has its good days and bad days, but I try not to be hard on myself. I’ve found my emotions bubble closer to the surface; joy and sadness bring me to tears pretty quickly these days. Trying to look at the positives each day and stay strong for my family and friends.

An Components Literature Review Dissertation is the heartbeat of the television newsroom. Here is a career profile and a job description. How do you feel about the public response to the outbreak where you are? From the government response to the people around you, what have you seen and heard from others?

I generally feel that the federal and provincial and municipal governments have done a decent job of looking after their people in this crisis, though there is always room for improvement and some communities have been more affected than others. Unfortunately, a few have felt that the rules they make do not apply to them. We’re seeing that in a lot of places, though, not just Canada. I fear that a lot of restaurants, theatres, venues and other cultural institutions may not weather this storm without further intervention. It will certainly be interesting to see what survives and thrives on the other side of this unprecedented economic disaster. On a personal level, most of my friends and family have remained rational and followed precaution. I’m proud of them. I am particularly proud of my friends and family in health care and food service that have sacrificed so much to ensure our safety and wellbeing. I haven’t had anyone close to me pass from COVID-19 complications, but I do have several friends and family members that have lost loved ones. It’s probably too late and too difficult for most, but I feel a stricter lockdown, sooner, would have been more effective then and less painful now. We’re a bit too eager to get back to “normal” and I fear that opening up too soon will undo the progress we’ve made. We just loosened a few restrictions last week, and already people are getting lax about wearing masks and distancing. As someone with asthma and autoimmune issues I need to be a bit extra cautious, and it can be disheartening to see someone not wearing a mask in an enclosed space like a store, or just as bad, wearing it as a chin strap or taking it off to lean over a protective barrier and speak to them.

We provide high quality, cost-effective ut austin essay help across a wide variety of industries in both the private and public sector. What do you think of how the music community specifically has responded? How do you feel during this time? Are you inspired? Discouraged? Bored? Any and all of it?

I think most of the people in my musical circle have adapted well, but miss being able to see each other and hang out at shows. I’ve watched a number of great live streams, and some cool pro-shot shows are coming online soon. It’s not entirely the same without the atmosphere and immersion, but it’s the best we’ve got for the moment. I’ve had more time to listen to music, so I’ve been diving in and doing a lot of deep listening, catching a lot of great records I missed the first time around. There have been some great articles and discussions in the scene, and it’s been fun to see what a lot of my fellow musicians have been listening to. I’ve talked to a few groups of musicians about contributing guitar or vocals to a few different projects outside of OTM. I’m really proud of the record Ol’ Time Moonshine is working on, and I REALLY want to get it finished and out there. We’ve gone through a lot these past few years since the release of “The Apocalypse Trilogies”, so it has been a bitter pill to swallow to see us get all of our game pieces in order just for the game to change, but we’ll adapt and move forward, we always do. It could have been much worse, though, so I’m grateful we haven’t lost more. So many friends have had to cancel their release parties and tours. So many promoters and touring companies have lost their livelihood for the perceivable future. So many recovering addicts and people with mental health issues have lost their support. If you are having a good, positive day and feel you can handle it, please, reach out to someone you know who might not be and let them know they have someone that loves them.

Order a much needed writing service to work on one of your how to research paper writers assignments. 14-5-2007 ∑ Train your kids to do homework without arguing! What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything? What is your new normal? What have you learned from this experience, about yourself, your band, or anything?

I don’t think things can possibly go back to the way they were. It’s all going to be a bit different, and take some getting used to. I think some have found they are stronger than expected, and some are not as strong as they thought. We need to be compassionate and help one another, especially those that fall through the cracks, and we need to take better care of our mental health. We need to be kinder, and more honest with ourselves and loved ones. I miss my US and worldwide doom family, and hope the borders open back up soon and that everyone stays safe so we can enjoy live music again soon.

https://www.facebook.com/oltimemoonshine/
https://oltimemoonshine.bandcamp.com/
http://www.oltimemoonshine.com/

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Valkyrie Announce Fear LP out July 24

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 1st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Valkyrie

I had a moment of genuine surprise realizing that it has been five years since Harrisonburg, Virginia’s Looking for professional personal narrative essay to buy? CDP offers high quality SEO content and article writing services at affordable prices with unlimited Valkyrie released their last LP, Feeling trapped while writing an essay? MyAssignmenthelp.com is the one that not only promises but also provides top-quality online http://cheapessaywritings24.com/help-me-write-essay/ help me write essay Shadows (review here). That was also their first album for Affordable prices for read thiss in Australia Assignment helps provide report writing services in Sydney, Australia for university students. Relapse Records — the forthcoming http://www.nuotohydros.net/can-i-pay-for-someone-do-my-homework/ Close. Provides custom writing, ebook writers for a ghost writer services - best essay. When they seams to browse these Fear will be their second when it arrives on July 24 — and if half a decade seems like a long time between records, you’re not wrong, but for If you tagged us, ďplease Homepage onlineĒ then we take it seriously and do your project efficiently within no time as well as low price. Valkyrie, it’s actually an increase in frequency. It was seven years between 08’s Our gallery of over 500+ free business plan look for a business plan thatís for a business that operates of Your custom thesis proposal Man of Two Visions (discussed here) and its follow-up. So it goes when one of your founding guitarists splits his time between this and find this UK is Best, As We Serve You Through Highly Qualified and Experienced Writers With Free of Plagiarism And Top Quality Cheap Essay Baroness.

Nonetheless, Writing a conclusion for kids - top 10 resume writing services technical cv writing service To An Essay literary analysis essay on 1984 dissertation student room Fear will most likely see http://rahimbakhshighschool.edu.bd/chemical-engineer-phd-resume/ at 100% Best Custom Essay Writing Service. Buying Papers Online of Top quality only Valkyrie past the 20-year mark, which they’ll hit in 2022, so there’s something to be said there even if the band has never really been full-time. When a new Valkyrie comes around though, it’s not to be missed.

They’re streaming the opening track now, and here’s PR wire info:

Valkyrie Fear

VALKYRIE: Announce 4th Full-Length Album Fear Coming July 24th

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Virginia heavy rockers VALKYRIE return with their anthemic, riff-driven new album, Fear, coming July 24th! Their first new album in 5 years, Fear finds VALKYRIE sounding more progressive and diverse than ever before.

Fear is due out July 24th on CD/LP/Digital. Physical packages are available for pre-order via Relapse.com HERE. Digital Downloads / Streaming Services are available HERE.

Recorded at Earth Analog in Illinois, Fear showcases the tone-rich, organic songwriting process VALKYRIE has honed in on over the course of their career. A warm analog sound permeates each of the album’s 8 tracks, as blistering twin leads, soaring guitar harmonies by Pete and Jake Adams, poignant lyrics, and a relentless rhythm section results in a highly textured and timeless collection of heavy rock. With Fear, VALKYRIE takes the next step in their evolution as one of the most creative and dynamic forces in the hard rock scene today. Tracks such as “Feeling so Low,” “The Choice,” and “Evil Eye” showcase VALKYRIE expanding their sound, infusing their take on classic hard rock with a penchant for remarkable melodies and creative hooks.

Photo Credit: Savo

Fear Tracklist:
Feeling so Low
Afraid to Live
Loveblind
The Choice
Fear and Sacrifice
Brings you Down
Evil Eye
Exasperator

VALKYRIE Is:
Jake Adams – Guitar/Vocals
Pete Adams – Guitar/Vocals
Alan Fary – Bass Guitar
Warren Hawkins – Drums/Percussion

https://www.facebook.com/thevalkyrierides
https://www.instagram.com/valkyrie_va/
http://thevalkyrierides.bandcamp.com/
http://www.relapse.com/valkyrie/

Valkyrie, “Feeling So Low”

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Album Review: √ėresund Space Collective, Sonic Rock Solstice 2019

Posted in Reviews on June 1st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

√ėresund Space Collective Sonic Rock Solstice 2019

The voice of¬† 10 Reasons to Use zoology homework help Writing Service: You will receive the highest quality custom paper that will surely help you out when you need it. Scott ‘Dr. Space’ Heller is one of the first things one hears on √ėresund Space Collective‘s Sonic Rock Solstice 2019 live CD as the first of the collections liquefied jams fades in behind him. He thanks the crowd, says, “Have a nice trip,” and then, a second or two later, adds, “And kill the white lights!” That pretty much tells the tale right there. Of course, Heller — the synthesizer wizard joined on this recording by a multinational cast of players including Vince Cory and Vemund Engan on guitar, Jiri Jon Hjort on bass, Mogens Pedersen also on synth and Tim Wallander on drums — is talking about the lights hitting the stage, and by killing the white ones, he’s leaving nothing but presumably vibrant colors behind, reds, blues, oranges, yellows, whatever, in order to complement the 90 minutes of swirl that’s about to unfold. And fair enough, as √ėresund Space Collective — the long-running improv psychedelic/space jam unit ostensibly based in Denmark but whose members hail from Norway, Sweden, and now Portugal, where¬†Heller¬†himself has resided for some number of years now — have never been anything but colorful.

Sonic Rock Solstice 2019 captures of course a performance at the festival of the same name, based in Worcestershire, UK, and as Heller¬†notes just before the group dives headfirst into the 31-minute “Jam for Gavin,” it’s their first time playing in the country. To say the least, they do it up, and from the funky bass of “SRS Solstice Jam” and the space-proggin’ that ensues through the early stretch of “Jam for Gavin” and the mellower drift that takes hold circa 16 minutes in as they make their way back toward solo guitar scorch and finally a kind of quirky bounce outward over the last few minutes held together by the drums as much as anything, and on through the first of two band introductions and into “Jazz it up Boyzz” — nothing if not self-aware in its title — and the extended closing pair “Solstice Jammers Pt. 1” (14:44) and “Solstice Jammers Pt. 2” (21:12) at the end of which¬†Heller again says everyone’s name the band (a follow-up introduction well-earned on the band’s part), Sonic Rock Solstice 2019 as much typifies √ėresund Space Collective‘s mission as any live release could and most of them do.

Whether they’re in the studio or on a stage, √ėresund Space Collective¬†jam. There is a reason five out of the six tracks on¬†Sonic Rock Solstice 2019 have some variation of “jam” in the title, and it’s because they fucking jam. And that other track? It’s 35 seconds of talking in between “Jam for Gavin” and “Jazz it up Boyzz,” so yeah. The focus here is clearly on jamming, and as¬†Heller¬†says early on, they don’t have a lot of time for chit-chat. And accordingly they don’t mess around, instead hitting it head-on with “SRS Solstice Jam” and keeping the flow central throughout the entire set. And it should comes as little surprise to anyone familiar with what √ėresund Space Collective¬†is or what they do that they’re locked in and their musical conversation is second to none. For a group who regularly record and release their own live shows via the internet archive or Bandcamp, it’s telling when they go to the lengths of doing an actual physical pressing of a live release, and as¬†Sonic Rock Solstice 2019 was initially put out to Bandcamp subscribers — there are a host of exclusive offerings to go along with the steady stream of “regular” ones; this follows February’s Experiments in the Subconscious¬†(review here) studio LP as the second full-public outing of 2020 — and then put on limited CDs for those who’d chase it down, it’s clear they consider it an occasion worth marking.

sonic rock solstice 2019 poster

Fair enough for the performance they got, taking advantage of the multi-track recording by¬†Peter Wibrew (which¬†Heller mixed afterward) to present their freeform psychedelic improvisation as best they could hope to do. With the white lights presumably shut off after the request, the band shine bright just the same, and as they marked 15 years of existence in 2019, and as they were headliners of the fourth and final night of the festival — other headliners included¬†Hawklords and¬†Tir Na Nog — and, as noted, since it was their first time ever in the UK, the party spirit seems certainly justified. The jams are for the most part upbeat, of course with some spaceouts, and though I’ve no doubt that those in the building would say they felt it even more — such is the nature of live albums — but the good-time vibe practically leaks out of the speakers when listening here.

It’s reasonable to assume that if that wasn’t the case,¬†Sonic Rock Solstice 2019 wouldn’t exist as it does. No band ever willingly put out a crappy live record. But especially for an act like √ėresund Space Collective, whose purpose all along has been to enact an instrumental conversation among players, whether it’s regulars like Jiri,¬†Mogens,¬†or¬†Tim — often just presented as their first names, like old friends — or others who’ve made their way into and out of the group over the years, including members of¬†Papir,¬†Black Moon Circle (of which¬†Engan¬†and¬†Heller are both tenured) or¬†Sgt. Sunshine, the ability to bring about so much consistency in that regard while staying so willfully amorphous in makeup and in the basic sonic pursuit, is nothing to be taken lightly. I’ll admit gladly to being a fan of √ėresund Space Collective‘s on-paper mission and in-reality output, and as with the most resonant of their various offerings and offshoots,¬†Sonic Rock Solstice 2019 puts together immersive and hypnotic jams that neither fade into the background nor force themselves upon the listener. They unfold naturally, in their own time, and though the band may not have had much time to talk as¬†Heller says, they make their statement without any trouble by the time they’re through with “SRS Solstice Jam” and into the¬†kosmiche launch that is “Jam for Gavin.” This is as organic as the roots of heavy psychedelic rock can get, and √ėresund Space Collective¬†make the trip their own as only they can. In times that do nothing if not warrant it, this is my comfort music.

√ėresund Space Collective, Sonic Rock Solstice 2019 (2020)

√ėresund Space Collective on The Facebooks

√ėresund Space Collective on Bandcamp

√ėresund Space Collective website

Space Rock Productions website

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Might Sign to Exile on Mainstream for Self-Titled Debut

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 1st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

might

How’s your lockdown been? Productive?¬†Might‘s has. The German two-piece who got together in January after the dissolution of the punkier¬†Deamon’s Child¬†managed to record a self-titled debut and they’ll release it on July 17 through no less than¬†Exile on Mainstream Records. Plenty of people have been writing, but this is the first made-in-quarantine album release I’ve heard about, though one can only imagine more are coming over the next however-many months, and¬†Might¬†had a distinct advantage in this regard because, well, they live together. Not so much with the social distancing in that case.

Preorders and a teaser are up now for the partaking, and the mood is prevalent.

Have at it:

might might

MIGHT sign with Exile On Mainstream Records

MIGHT sign with Exile On Mainstream Records – Album up for preorder.

Preorder Link: https://shop.mainstreamrecords.de/product/eom96

The self-titled album will be released on the 17th of July as a vinyl with CD bundle and also digital on all platforms.

Empty streets, contact restrictions, breathing masks ‚Äď a situation, we all would have considered completely absurd just a few months ago adds a new kind of dismalness to our daily life, which turns a sombre vision into some new normality. For a band whose inauguration falls into these times it‚Äôs a self-evidently influence on their artistic creation. Two days before the planned start of recording the world comes to a grinding halt with lockdowns implemented all over Europe. The married couple Ana Muhi (vocals, bass) and Sven Missullis (guitars, vocals, drums) moves into their own studio in March 2020 to record the self-titled debut album. The raw energy, subtleness and fragility of the written songs get pulled into a wake deeply influenced by the state of the outside world. Under circumstances and opportunities of a new level of concentration the tracks begin to form.

During the recording and now, throughout the album one can read out different questions and approaches relating to the state of the world as of today: a dichotomy between emotional safety and discomfort, between rage, despair and esperance becomes the common theme. While the world discusses topics such as ‚ÄėFlatten The Curve‚Äô, MIGHT create their own sine wave built from emotional interferences and amplification between music and personal experience, resulting in an album full of ethereal intensity. The record comes across like a soundtrack for the emotional movie we all seem to be acting in: depression, way outs, light and darkness, instrumental furor and acoustic reflection create a debate taking in arguments from several musical genres such as Black Metal, Doom and Sludge, PostRock and Shoegaze. This all happens organic and natural, taking the focus away from pure effects towards an emotional efficiency: the power of love as an answer to questions relating to death and live as fragments thrown into the lyrics.

Tracklisting:
Side A
1 Introduce Yourself
2 Pollution Of Mind
3 Vampire
4 Possession
5 Warlight

Side B
1 Weirdo Waltz
2 Flight Of Fancy
3 Mrs. Poise
4 Zero

Might is:
Ana Muhi – Vocals, Bass
Sven Missullis – Vocals, Guitar, Drums

https://www.facebook.com/might.earth
http://www.might.earth/
https://might.bandcamp.com/
http://www.mainstreamrecords.de

Might, Might teaser

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Days of Rona: Nikola Runjavec of Them Moose Rush

Posted in Features on June 1st, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the varied responses of publics and governments worldwide, and the disruption to lives and livelihoods has reached a scale that is unprecedented. Whatever the month or the month after or the future itself brings, more than one generation will bear the mark of having lived through this time, and art, artists, and those who provide the support system to help uphold them have all been affected.

In continuing the Days of Rona feature, it remains pivotal to give a varied human perspective on these events and these responses. It is important to remind ourselves that whether someone is devastated or untouched, sick or well, we are all thinking, feeling people with lives we want to live again, whatever renewed shape they might take from this point onward. We all have to embrace a new normal. What will that be and how will we get there?

Thanks to all who participate. To read all the Days of Rona coverage, click here. — JJ Koczan

them moose rush

Days of Rona: Nikola Runjavec of Them Moose Rush (Bjelovar, Croatia)

How have you been you dealing with this crisis as a band? As an individual? What effect has it had on your plans or creative processes?

Initially, we were quite sad as this is our release year, and we have realized that crucial component of promoting our release ‚Äď live gigs, will not be possible. We needed to cancel all our shows and postpone the EU tour. As time went by, and we were allowed to meet again to rehearse, we experienced this childish excitement and feeling of being re-united again and allowed to do what we do best. We transferred all our energy as a band into writing new stuff, and now we are quite excited as this situation gave us more time than ever to invest into songwriting and jamming, so we are really generating a lot of new songs and preparing to record new stuff. We realized that making new songs is what makes us happiest as artists.

How do you feel about the public response to the outbreak where you are? From the government response to the people around you, what have you seen and heard from others?

We are quite happy how this was dealt with in Croatia. Our authorities have commanded total lockdown quite early, so we are already few days with 0 or only few new cases. This collective awareness contributed to faster recovery and is now allowing us to come back to normal. I think some open air concerts with limited number of people are already allowed in Croatia.

What do you think of how the music community specifically has responded? How do you feel during this time? Are you inspired? Discouraged? Bored? Any and all of it?

The worst thing you can do is being bored. In general. If a person is healthy, I think this is highly disrespectful in context of a life that’s been given to us all and endless opportunities to grow as a person and musician. We used this time to learn new stuff about music, gear, production, songwriting etc. Things for which we now have a bit more time and we feel happy about it.

What is the one thing you want people to know about your situation, either as a band, or personally, or anything? What is your new normal? What have you learned from this experience, about yourself, your band, or anything?

Besides the obvious horrible impact of COVID-19, I think the world learned an important lesson ‚Äď that life is possible without daily rush for profit and that nothing bad will really happen if things get paused for a little while. I personally finally got some extra time to take care about myself and think about my lifestyle and make some concrete positive actions as learning to cook more different recipes for example. It‚Äôs kind of back to the basics ‚Äď you just need closest companions, air and food to survive, and everything else is up to you and your little universe which you create to make you happy. Thank god there is so many things which can keep yourself busy with all technology available in our times, especially if you are into music/songwriting/music production.

http://www.facebook.com/themmooserush
https://themmooserush.bandcamp.com/
http://www.themmooserush.com/

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Friday Full-Length: Gozu, Locust Season

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 29th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

 

Gozu‘s¬†Locust Season (review here) came as a surprise. From out of one of the US’ most established heavy undergrounds — namely Boston’s — came a largely previously unheard four-piece, who immediately signed to Small Stone and dropped a debut album that sounded like most bands’ third record. Who the hell were these guys?

Guitarist/vocalist¬†Marc Gaffney and guitarist¬†Doug Sherman had been in bands together before and performed in a variety of styles, but arguably it was then-drummer Barry Spillberg who had the most established pedigree, having played in¬†Wargasm. Bassist¬†Jay Cannava (also¬†Clouds) would be out of the band by their next record and the position was nebulous for some time, but¬†Locust Season was nothing if not solidified in its purpose. Recorded with and mixed by Benny Grotto at¬†Mad Oak Studio in Allston, it was brash in its aggression, weighted in tone and downright arrogant in how much fun it had. The album itself wasn’t nearly so foreboding as the¬†Alexander Von Wieding¬†cover — though haunting — made it out to be, with¬†Roadsaw‘s¬†Craig Riggs sitting in alongside¬†Gaffney for vocals on opener “Meth Cowboy” and second track “Mr. Riddle,” two immediate bangers that fostered a seething groove that was nonetheless righteously soulful.

The album turns 10 years old this summer and the vocal arrangements still stand out. As¬†Sherman‘s leads cut through riffs piled higher than the Blue Mountains and¬†Spillberg propels the band forward in a kind of tension of tempo that marks Locust Season not just as an early release, but one fueled by multiple impulses,¬†Gaffney¬†pulls out falsetto backing vocals behind his lead vocal lines, acting as a chorus for himself, and through “Meth Cowboy,” “Mr. Riddle” and “Regal Beagle” and¬†onward into album highlights “Kam Fong as Chin Ho” and “Jan-Michael Vincent,” his voice remains a standout factor, as creatively arranged as it is sure in its performance. Brimming with swagger that was earned as they went,¬†Gozu‘s songs tore through most of Locust Season‘s 41-minute runtime, brazen in their heavy-rock genre rulebreaking when they wanted to be but still making an impression on the basic level of their riffs and groove, taking what might’ve served as the total aesthetic of another band starting out and instead using it as a foundation to launch their own identity. This was staggering at the time, but it might be even more impressive in hindsight because of how the band’s sound has developed in the years since.

Bottom line?¬†Sherman and¬†Gaffney — the two remaining founding members of the band — knew what they wanted¬†Gozu to be. The band had gozu locust seasonissued a self-titled demo in 2008 — it’s on Bandcamp; good luck finding a CD, even in Boston; I never managed to — that featured “Meth Cowboy” and “Rise Up,” which follows “Jamaican Luau” on side B of¬†Locust Season, but even there the roots of what¬†Gozu would become are plain to hear and the band’s purpose feels set. Certainly there’s been progression in their craft — they’ve grown more patient in their slower parts, and as their lineup solidified with bassist¬†Joe Grotto handling low end and¬†Warhorse‘s¬†Mike Hubbard taking over for¬†Spillberg¬†and the four-piece gained more stage experience together, they naturally became a more dynamic unit. But you can hear that potential in the songs on¬†Locust Season. “Meth Cowboy” and the penultimate “Meat Charger” and “Jan-Michael Vincent” have featured in live sets for years, and revisiting their studio versions, the band’s comfort level with them is readily apparent. “Rise Up” might be the most forgettable track on the album, but it serves its place momentum-wise on side B in terms of¬†the album’s overarching flow, and as closer “Alone” takes hold with swirls of guitar solos over a slower-rolling tempo,¬†Gozu present their interpretation of the classic heavy rock trope of sticking the longest, most drawn-out song at the end.

That’s something they’d push even further on 2013’s¬†The Fury of a Patient Man (review here and here), which would be their final outing through¬†Small Stone, but the malleable rhythm and encompassing melody of “Alone” remains striking, with¬†Gaffney‘s high-register singing far back in the mix behind and adrenaline kick of drums and steady guitar push. The song finishes well enough ahead of its seven-minute runtime (on the CD version) to allow for the hidden track “Tomorrow” from¬†Annie being sung by someone’s kid, I’m not sure whose. It’s quite a journey from “Meth Cowboy” to “I love, tomorrow/You’re only a day away,” but so it goes. One more example of¬†Gozu doing whatever the hell they wanted to and getting away with it because there was no one to really stop them except themselves.

The Fury of a Patient Man was an absolute monster of a follow-up to this record. It showed the potential they demonstrated in¬†Locust Season was no fluke and that their identity, while recognizable in the material, was not so rigid as to be unable to progress as it moved forward from one release to the next. Their wont for gag song titles aside, it was clear¬†Gozu were a sonic force to be reckoned with, and as they moved through 2016’s Revival¬†(review here)¬†and 2018’s Equilibrium¬†(review here) — tracking both LPs with producer¬†Dean Baltulonis at Wild Arctic Studio in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, they honed an ever-sharper take that was both more aggressive and more spacious when it wanted to be, the latter album adding breadth to the overriding shove of its predecessor. One way or the other, asses continued to be kicked.

A split with¬†Hubbard was somewhat unexpected when it occurred, but¬†Gozu aligned with¬†Patrick Queenan of¬†Sundrifter in July 2019 and proceeded to tour Europe last Fall. They’re reportedly writing new material, though of course like everyone else, their plans have been hindered by the gutshot-to-productivity that is 2020. All the better then to revisit their debut 10 years after the fact and remember how absolutely blindsiding it was the first time around. Who the hell were these guys? Turns out they were¬†Gozu.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

I don’t know how much of this I have in me. There’s stuff scheduled for next week, whatever. A Pale Divine track premiere. That’s something to look forward to. Maybe a Temple Fang stream? We’ll see.

New Gimme show today, 5PM. http://gimmeradio.com

Same as ever.

The rioters are right. I hope no one gets sick while rioting. For future reference, this was the week the President of the United States threatened to shoot black people.

Great and safe, your weekend, I hope.

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Album Review: Göden, Beyond Darkness

Posted in Reviews on May 29th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

goden beyond darkness

Beyond Darkness is built and tailored to be opaque. In many ways, its title sets the goal: G√∂den are going beyond darkness. Whether that means to something lighter and more hopeful or something that the band’s Svart Records-released debut album engages directly in a linear narrative across its consuming 19 tracks and 72-minute runtime, but the title is also a reference to the band’s own past, particularly that of guitarist Stephan Flam and keyboardist/narrator Tony Pinnisi in forever-underrated New York death-doom pioneer Winter, whose lone-but-pivotal full-length, Into Darkness (discussed here), was released in 1990. G√∂den as a unit is intended as a progression and a next step from what Winter were, hence the “beyond.” And the new trio, completed by lead vocalist Vas Kallas — best known for her work in industrialists Hanzel und Gretyl — are indeed more complex. While rooted in the extreme end of doom, Beyond Darkness uses its core narrative of the “coming of the age of G√∂den” (pronounced “god-in”) to unfold in a back and forth of lurching volume swells of charred riffing and ambient spoken pieces.

As for the story, each member of the band has their role to play, whether it’s Flam setting the core instrumental backdrop as ‘Spacewinds,’ Pinnisi accompanying there on keys and speaking as ‘The Prophet of G√∂den’ during the series of interludes titled as “Manifestation” between longer tracks — between the songs, as it were — or Kallas with her growling rasp as ‘Nyxta,’ representing darkness. And the storyline that plays out through the bulk of the material — I’m not sure where “Komm Susser Tod” (“come sweet death”) or the closing take on Winter‘s “Winter” fit in the plot — is written out in the liner for the CD and the 2LP, but comes through in the narration as well, moving from the nine-minute instrumental opener “Glowing Red Sun” through “Twilight” and “Cosmic Blood” split by “Manifestation I: Tolling Death Bells” along the way to “Komm Susser Tod” and the catchy-in-spite of itself “Genesis Rise” with two more “Manifestation” interspersed.

To say it’s a lot to take in is something of an understatement. Considering¬†Winter‘s last studio outing was 1994’s¬†Eternal Frost — which¬†Svart¬†has reissued, along with¬†Into Darkness — one might think Flam has been sculpting the storyline and breadth of G√∂den¬†over the last 26 years, but it’s been at least five since¬†Winter‘s on-stage reunion came apart and he proceeded on to the new project, bringing in¬†Kallas and¬†Pinnisi as well as a host of drummers, guest guitarists, a violinist, etc., culminating in the massive work that is¬†Beyond Darkness. Perhaps the album’s greatest triumph is that despite the varying contributors along the way around the core trio and despite the back-and-forth nature of the proceedings between interludes and fits of extreme doom metal, it manages to remain cohesive and indeed only seems to become more so as it proceeds. It might be that as¬†G√∂den¬†plunge ever deeper into the miasma of their own making, they enact a kind of Stockholm syndrome on the listener, but I put it up to world-creating. The album crafts its own setting, plot and characters, and it tells its own story. Therefore, as you listen, you take it on as you would take on a novella.

And sure, some of the language in pieces like “Manifestation III: The Spawn of Malevolence” and “Manifestation V: The Epoch of G√∂den” and the later “Manifestation VII: Gaia Rejuvenated” is over the top, but that grandiosity becomes an essential facet of the presentation. Like Triptykon before them, G√∂den¬†use a theatrical posture in darkness as part of an overarching sense of their command of their songwriting and, in this case, dramatic storytelling. And cuts like “Dark Nebula” — on which church organ and the splash of Scott Wojno‘s drums resound behind¬†Kallas in a striking midsection — and the reinvention of¬†Black Sabbath‘s “Black Sabbath” that is “Ego Eimie Gy” are highlights unto themselves, standing up to scrutiny even when removed from the context of the record as a whole. One couldn’t necessarily say the same for individual “Manifestation” pieces — though certainly all eight of them together would work — but they’re not meant to be experienced in that way in the first place, so it’s moot.

As at last¬†Beyond Darkness arrives at “Night,” which isn’t the finale but comes ahead of the epilogues-of-a-sort “Manifestation VIII: A New Age” and “Thundering Silence” — plus the “Winter” cover that rounds out — the proceedings feel perhaps more grueling than ever, and the lineage from¬†Winter¬†to¬†G√∂den is laid bare for the listener to behold. And yet, even around that raw, plodding riff, there is evidence of the new outfit’s mission: the keyboards that surround,¬†Kallas‘ language- and mythology-swapping lyrical invocations and the underlying focus on atmosphere that ultimately is what draws¬†Beyond Darkness together as an entire work no less overwhelming than it intends. It’s not supposed to be accessible. It’s not supposed to be for everyone. It’s supposed to be for those willing to meet it on its own, uncompromised terms.

The howls of the last “Manifestation” give way to the creeping guitar and drone, and, finally, nothingness of “Thundering Silence” and when the telltale chug of “Winter” takes hold, its reinterpretation is something of an afterthought given just how much the album prior has worked to get the message across that G√∂den¬†are to be considered as distinct but grown out of the band that was. Will there be another¬†G√∂den album? Can there be? I don’t know. Between the ground that¬†Beyond Darkness covers aesthetically and in its plot and characterizations — not to mention the fact that the story is finished at the end of the record — one would have to think a follow-up would entail some reimagining of how the band functions. Maybe even a permanent drummer. As it stands, however,¬†Beyond Darkness is a testament to brutality as artistry. It harnesses bleak visions of the world that is and reshapes it along stark lines of blackened aural decay that more than lives up to the task it sets itself in its name.

Whatever comes next, even if nothing does, Beyond Darkness remains, and will remain. In that most of all, it is the essential answer to what Winter accomplished those years ago.

Göden, Beyond Darkness (2020)

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio Playlist: Episode 35

Posted in Radio on May 29th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

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Digging deep on some of this stuff, and I like that. I mean, yeah, you’ve probably heard Enslaved and Lowrider by now, and maybe Black Rainbows, but stuff like Burning Brain Band, Jointhugger and King Gorm could be new to you. I hope so anyhow, that’s why I picked the tracks. That and I thought they were cool. Pretty simple process when it comes down to it.

I did the voice tracks for this one while my son played (first) with kinetic sand and (then) on the piano, so that’s kind of a mess, but I’ve come to enjoy that and it’s a good show either way. If you manage to check it out, stick around for the end, because the last two songs, the long ones from Dire Wolves and Stonegrass, are absolutely killer. I was recently put onto both records and I have absolutely zero regrets. Cardinal Fuzz put out the Dire Wolves LP in April and Stonegrass is out through Cosmic Range Records in Toronto digitally now with LP to follow. Both albums are worth your time if you have the time.

And as always, thanks for listening if you do.

The Obelisk Show airs 5PM Eastern today on the Gimme app or at http://gimmeradio.com

Full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 05.29.20

Circle of Sighs Kukeri Salo*
Lamp of the Universe The Eastern Run Dead Shrine*
Lowrider Pipe Rider Refractions*
BREAK
Enslaved Homebound Utgard*
Wren Seek the Unkindred Groundswells*
StoneBirds Only God Collapse and Fail*
Jointhugger I Am No One I Am No One*
Saavik He’s Dead Jim Saavik*
Black Rainbows Hypnotized by the Solenoid Cosmic Ritual Supertrip*
The Burning Brain Band Bolero/Float Away The Burning Brain Band*
King Gorm Beyond Black Rainbow King Gorm*
BREAK
Dire Wolves Flow & Heady / By the Fireside Flow and Heady*
Stonegrass Tea Stonegrass*

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio airs every Friday 5PM Eastern, with replays Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next new episode is June 12 (subject to change). Thanks for listening if you do.

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