We Lost the Sea Stream Departure Songs in Full; Out Now on Translation Loss

Posted in audiObelisk on November 30th, 2015 by JJ Koczan


Sydney six-piece We Lost the Sea first released their third full-length, Departure Songs (review here), this past summer. They financed it on their own and worked with Bird’s Robe Records and Art as Catharsis, and the latest version of the album was issued by Translation Loss this past Friday. It’s out now. It’s streaming on their Bandcamp page and has been for I don’t know how long. Why, then, would one bother to host the tracks for a full-album stream like it’s not something that everybody can just go find on their own? The simple answer is that the five-song, 67-minute outing is that much worth the time and focus.

Departure Songs, almost entirely instrumental save for a choral part in opener “A Gallant Gentleman” and samples in “Challenger Part 1 – Flight” and “Challenger Part 2 – A Swan Song,” is richly evocative, broad in its scope and gorgeously engrossing throughout its span. It has moments of rage, of excitement and times where its breadth seems to just go on and on, but its intent is plain: To convey loss. We Lost the Sea‘s work has always been thematic in one way or another — their 2010 debut, Crimea, took inspiration from poetry about the Crimean War, and 2012’s The Quietest Place on Earth resounded with melancholy at its center — but Departure Songs brings this to a new level of poignancy and specificity, each track referring directly to a tragic death that, as the band put it, “tells the stories of those who have gone above and beyond their duty as humans and sacrificed themselves for others for honorable reasons.”

The subject matter is no coincidence. we-lost-the-sea-departure-songsIn 2013, We Lost the Sea frontman Chris Torpy committed suicide, devastating the band and others around him, and as the group continues to move forward, it seems that in listening to the quiet reaches of centerpiece “The Last Dive of David Shaw” — Shaw an Australian diver who lost his life trying to recover the body of another diver — that the cathartic exploration on the part of the band is as much inward as it is outward. That’s as much the case for the soft airy guitars that begin “A Gallant Gentleman” — English explorer Laurence Oats who sacrificed himself so that the rest of his party could survive in the Antarctic — and for the subsequent “Bogatyri,” which takes its narrative from the story of three people (Valeri Bezpalov, Alexie Ananenko and Boris Baranov) who died opening the floodgates at Chernobyl to lessen the impact of the fallout, as it is for the two-part “Challenger,” which closes out in homage to the crew of the ill-fated 1986 shuttle of the same name.

It may well be that by telling these stories through music, the remaining members of We Lost the Sea — guitarists Mark Owen, Matt Harvey and Brendon Warner, bassist Kieran Elliott, pianist/keyboardist Mathew Kelly and drummer Nathaniel D’Ugo — are in some way attempting to make sense of their own, but it’s worth noting that in a subject territory in which everything and anything has been said and all that’s left is to rehash the superficial comforts of cliché, Departure Songs brims with original, personal boldness. Tracks are immersive and so gracefully textured that, even without the context retreaded above, it succeeds in putting the listener in a kind of contemplative, quiet place with its emotional gamut, the final wash of “Challenger Part 2 – A Swan Song” bringing a tear to the eye for what is the most universal truth of our condition. All of us. Everybody.

Like I said, the album is out now, so take this as a long-form version of “Recommended” if you want to, but either way, I urge you to dive into Departure Songs one way or another. Whether that happens here on the player below, their Bandcamp, Spotify, through Translation Loss, wherever, I hope you enjoy:

We Lost the Sea on Thee Facebooks

We Lost the Sea on Bandcamp

We Lost the Sea on Twitter

Translation Loss store

Translation Loss on Thee Facebooks

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Wo Fat and Mothership Announce ‘Texas Takeover II’ Tour Dates

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 30th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

wo fat mothership tour banner

By the time Ripple Music labelmates Wo Fat and Mothership hit the shores of Europe together next April, they’ll both have new records out. In the case of Wo Fat, that will be Midnight Cometh, their first full-length for the label — they also have a limited self-released split 7″ out in Dec. on which they cover Betty Davis‘ “They Say I’m Different”; already sold out — and for Mothership, it’s the Live over Freak Valley LP due Jan. 15 that captures their last voyage abroad. In any case, it will no doubt be a trip to remember, including as it does stops at Desertfest Berlin and London and world-famous venues in Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark and elsewhere.

You might recall the first Texas Takeover with Wo Fat and Mothership, in addition to Mothership‘s impending live album, also resulted in Wo Fat‘s Live Juju at Freak Valley (review here). We’ll see if 2016’s tour is similarly productive.

Announcement follows:

wo fat mothership tour poster

We are pleased to announce the tour dates for our 2016 Texas Takeover II Tour with our Texas Riff Brothers, Mothership. Dig the rockin’ poster from David Paul Seymour.

Throughout their sonic odyssey spanning five studio albums, a live album, and two splits, beginning in 2006 with The Gathering Dark, Wo Fat have stayed true to the deep, dark blues that wail from within and have continually forged their riffs with a primal groove. Going stronger and rocking harder than ever before, the band are currently readying their next chapter – and first with Ripple – with the release of their brand new album Midnight Cometh. Looming on the horizon and due for release in Spring 2016, this newest slab of riffage lurking in your future is easily their most daring and psychotropic exploration of heaviness to date.

Since 2013 Mothership has traveled non-stop, playing live across the USA, Canada, United Kingdom and Europe; taking to festival stages, nightclubs, and under the sun at whatever motorcycle parties they could find. They are for all intents and purposes a heavy rock juggernaut that has only just begun to tear a hole in the cosmos. And guess what? They have no plans of slowing down for anyone.

WO FAT & MOTHERSHIP: Texas Takeover II Tour:
04.18 Mephisto Hannover DE
04.19 Schaubude Kel DE
04.20 TBA
04.21 Pokalen Oslo NO
04.22 Loppen Copenhagen DK
04.23 1000Fryd Aalborg DK
04.24 Rock Cafe Hamburg DE
04.25 The Vortex Siegen DE
04.26 Feierwerk Munich DE
04.27 Arena Vienna AT
04.28 Desertfest Berlin DE
04.29 Dornrosje Nijmegen NL
04.30 Pre-Roadkill Festival Party Waarschoot BE
05.01 Desertfest London UK


Wo Fat, “They Say I’m Different”

Mothership, II (2014)

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Bison Machine Announce Winter Tour; Three-Way Split Due Jan. 23

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 30th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

Hamtramck, Michigan’s Bison Machine issued their Hoarfrost (review here) full-length through Kozmik Artifactz earlier this year and have already toured considerably to support its arrival, but it’s looking like they’re ready to move forward as well. The New Year will bring a new split offering with Detroiters SLO and Wild Savages, a tape limited to 150 copies that will mark the first new music from Bison Machine since the LP, and just prior to the cassette’s release, a quick tour alongside speedfreaks Against the Grain that will no doubt find both bands getting their feet under them as they plan out a vigorous 2016 filled with road time and recording.

Bison Machine have a Sabbath-reference shirt on offer and the cover art for the new split and poster for the tour can be found below. Click any and all to enlarge:

Bison Machine and fellow Michigan speed rockers, Against The Grain, hit the blustery winter road for a string of dates sure to heat up the tundra that is the northern Midwest. Both bands are still touring on their 2015 releases and Bison Machine is preparing to release a new offering as soon as they return from the road, a split album with two other of Detroit’s finest rock and rollers, Wild Savages and SLO. The album will be self-released, January 23rd, on tape limited to 150 copies and will feature previously recorded material that has never been released by Bison Machine as well as brand new tracks recorded by Wild Savages and SLO. Entitled, “Sweet Leaves!”, the album is sure to be a mind pleaser. Check out the album art and track listing exclusively on The Obelisk!

Bison Machine are also taking tour fundraising orders for a one-off shirt based on the “super fan” shirts in the Black Sabbath Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert footage. If you’re interested in helping with their tour fund you can order a shirt for $15 shipped, by including your shirt size and address in a paypal gift sent to anthonyfranchina@gmail.com. You will also receive a free small gift with your order as a thank you! Sorry only sales in the USA will be accepted.

SWEET LEAVES Track Listing
Hawk on the Wind – Bison Machine
Soul Seeker – Bison Machine
Queen Bee – Wild Savages
Stage Fright – Wild Savages
The Darkness – SLO
Shield Maidens – SLO

Against The Grain / Bison Machine Winter Tour
“Mid x Midwest”
1/13 Green Bay WI @ The Lyric Room
1/14 Milwaukee WI @ The Cactus Club
1/15 Fort Wayne IN @ Skeletunes w/ River Bottom Nightmare
1/16 Lafayette IN @ The Doom Room w/ Mound Builders
1/17 Grand Rapids MI @ Tip Top w/ Bonehawk (matinee show. Doors 2pm)


Bison Machine, Hoarfrost (2015)

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Chron Goblin Post New Video for “Fuller”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 30th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

chron goblin

Not really a surprise that the video for “Fuller,” taken from Chron Goblin‘s newly released third album and Ripple Music debut, Backwater (review forthcoming), would be a good time — that’s kind of the band’s thing — but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. The new clip from the Calgary-based heavy rock foursome chronicles a freaked-out day in the life of a pizza deliverer, and that includes a guest appearance from the Gimp or otherwise some dude in a wrestling mask, doing stoned doughnuts in an empty parking lot, and dropping off lunch at the Breaking Bad trailer out in the middle of nowhere. I’ve never delivered pizzas professionally, but I imagine it’s pretty accurate to the reality of the situation.

The final stop? To Chron Goblin‘s rehearsal space, where the band awaits two pepperoni pies. As to whether or not they actually get them, I won’t spoil the video entirely, but as ever, it’s more about the journey than the destination, and “Fuller” makes for a fun trip along the way. A catchy, upbeat riff-and-hook approach is cut into a couple times for video/sound effects — the squealing tires into the guitar solo is particularly effective — and the song stands up well to the comedy, which it would have to for this kind of thing to work. Tension builds as the groove thickens later on, but though the stakes are high, e.g. pizza en route, but Chron Goblin never lose sight of the party they’re throwing sonically, and coupled with the songcraft they display throughout Backwater‘s entirety, that’s more than enough to hold even the most fickle of attentions for four minutes or so.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be ordering a pizza.


Chron Goblin, “Fuller” official video

We are proud to present a new music video for “Fuller”! Check out the ill-fated pizza delivery action adventure featuring the lovely and hilarious CJ. Directed, edited, and shot by our very own Josh Sandulak.

Chron Goblin on Thee Facebooks

Chron Goblin Twitter

Chron Goblin merch

Ripple Music

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Desertfest Berlin 2016: Rotor, Samavayo, Coogans Bluff, Dÿse and The Loranes Join Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 30th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

desertfest 2016 banner

If you haven’t seen the name around yet, The Loranes is the new band from former Kadavar bassist Mammut. The newcomers are one of five bands in the latest batch to be announced for Desertfest Berlin 2016, which still has Electric WizardTruckfightersCrowbar and Elder at the top of its bill. If no one else joined, they’d probably be ready to roll out a three-day fest as is and call it square, but I have the feeling we’re still in the thick of it as The Loranes and other local Berlin outfits like RotorCoogans Bluff (they’re from Rostock, two hours north), Samavayo and Dÿse are added.

Hard to argue either way, and I’m not inclined to try. Here’s the newest update from the festival:

desertfest berlin 2016 poster

Desertfest Berlin 2016 – ROTOR, DYSE, SAMAVAYO, COOGANS BLUFF, THE LORANES added to the line-up!

It’s time for a DESERTFEST special BERLIN announcement! 5 Years DESERTFEST BERLIN – 5 amazing Berlin bands added to the lineup! We are thrilled to welcome aboard instrumental stoner prog pioneers Rotor, incredibly entertaining experimental duo Dÿse, fast forward stoner rockers Samavayo, “Contemporary retro” songcrafters Coogans Bluff and the brand new power trio of ex-Kadavar bassist “Mammut”, The Loranes!

These 5 acts join the first 13 bands previously announced Electric Wizard, Truckfighters, Crowbar, Elder, Wo Fat, Egypt, Monolord, Death Alley, Monomyth, Mothership, Desert Storm, Kaleidobolt and Somali Yacht Club. Our fifth edition might be the trippiest experience of your life, so join us… take the ride and buy your ticket now! (tickets’ links below).

Regular HARD TICKETS or E-TICKETS can be purchased on our WEBSITE! Our ticketprices remain the same, that’s 85 Euros for all you newbies! But remember that we were sold out last time about 7 weeks ahead, and we think we may top that this year!

By ordering a HARD TICKET, you get a free Desertfest patch!


Rotor, “Volllast” official video

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Friday Full-Length: Natas, Ciudad de Brahman

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 27th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

Natas, Ciudad de Brahman (1999)

I’ve made no attempt to hide my fandom for Los Natas over the years. Their 1996 debut, Delmar, has closed weeks on two separate occasions (see here and here), and stands among my personal favorite records, period. House burning, only time to save the Kyuss or the Natas, I pick the latter every time, and not just because I can re-buy the Kyuss records either. I was fortunate enough to see them live at Roadburn 2010, as much as one could see anything with the room so dark, and between chasing down their rare-cuts offerings like Rutation (review here) and putting their last album, 2009’s Nuevo Orden de la Libertad (review here), among the top of that year’s best — a trend that has continued as guitarist/vocalist Sergio Chotsourian has gone on to release three albums with his new band, Ararat, in the years since — the nerding-out has really only continued. As I check the mail to look for a Sergio Ch. solo record to review, I doubt it will abate anytime soon.

So when I tell you that 1999’s Ciudad de Brahman is a special album, understand I’m speaking as a fan of the band’s work front to back. Progressed from the laid back desert sands of Delmar to something harder-edged but still offering plenty of serenity, the 14-track offering would set up the rawer heavy style that began to show itself from their third record, 2002’s Corsario Negro, through the subsequent 2006 outing El Hombre Montaña and of course on El Nuevo Orden de la Libertad as well, the quiet, jammy explorations having found an outlet in the interim in other releases like Toba Trance I and II and München Sessions, all of which were issued between 2003 and 2005.

Like its predecessor, Ciudad de Brahman was put out in North America by Man’s Ruin Records, and between its instrumental stretches, songs like “Brisa del Desierto,” “Meteoro 2028,” the stomping “Alohawaii” and its eight-minute instrumental/longest track opener “Carl Sagan,” Natas‘ second (also their final before adding the Los) full-length is a rich summary of the varied sound they’d come to hone over their years together, Chotsourian and drummer Walter Broide working with a couple different bassists, including Miguel Fernandez here and Gonzalo “Crudo” Villagra in the band’s final (to-date) incarnation. As always, I hope you enjoy.

Took a full day off yesterday, which is something I don’t ordinarily allow myself to do, but there was a lot of travel involved. In the morning, The Patient Mrs., the little dog Dio and I rolled down from Massachusetts to Connecticut to do her family’s Thanksgiving dinner, and last night, from there, down to New Jersey, where we’ll essentially repeat the process today. Back north tomorrow.

It would be fine, but I’m having a flareup in my right ankle — you might recall I fell early this year, but that’s more a symptom than the root cause — that is remarkably painful and has kind of played havoc on the idea of walking, which, you know, one might do on a family holiday occasion, even if it’s just to the kitchen and back. Yesterday was an adventure, I expect today will be likewise. Every day is in one way or another.

I guess that’s my way of noting why I’m closing out the week early today, because basically I’m on my way out the door and over to see my family, with perhaps a quick stop off for a coffee and an ace bandage along the way. Monday, check back for Chron Goblin‘s new video, which I’m sure you’ve already seen but is fun nonetheless, and a full-album stream from We Lost the Sea. Tuesday, the Readers Poll goes up, so I guess it’s the kickoff for list season. Might try to do year’s-best-art in the next week or so. Still have a bunch of reviews waiting as well for Bevar SeaKindBedroom Rehab Corporation, and so on. I’ll do my best to squeeze in as much as I can when I can.

Thanks for reading, have a great and safe weekend, and please check out the forum and radio stream.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Project Armageddon, Linus Pauling Quartet and More Playing Doomsgiving IV on Dec. 5

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 27th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

Next weekend in Houston, Rudyard’s Pub hosts Doomsgiving IV – The Krampus Hunt, and while I have no idea what a Doomsgiving might entail as regards the traditional meal — turkeys made of riffs! — it’s a killer lineup with Project ArmageddonLinus Pauling QuartetThe Dirty Seeds and Serpent Sun, and that’s usually enough to pique my interest.

Linus Pauling Quartet, if you missed the news, had the Jan. 15 release date for their new album, Ampalanche, confirmed earlier this week by Vincebus Eruptum Recordings. Meantime, Project Armageddon will headline the evening in support of their earlier-2015 offering, Cosmic Oblivion (review here), which was a Doomsgiving feast unto itself.

Show details and whathaveyou:

doomsgiving iv the krampus hunt

Doomsgiving IV – The Krampus Hunt

December 5th at Rudyard’s Pub, Houston, TX.

Project Armageddon
Linus Pauling Quartet
The Dirty Seeds
Serpent Sun
Doors at 8:00 $8

Spawned of Doom Metal, with open minds & experimentation; Hailing from the northern outskirts of Houston, TX-Project Armageddon consists of members: Brandon Johnson – guitar, Raymond Matthews – drums, and Doomstress Alexis – bass and vocals. February 2010 saw the release of Project Armageddon’s debut full length cd “Departure”: a self released, 45 minute record that stays true to P.A.’s no holds barred stylistic approach, running the gamut from straight out doom to somber acoustic tracks to full out effects laden psychedelic guitar tracks, dealing with super-genetic beings, nuclear holocaust, natural devastation, and religious intolerances.

Project Armageddon continued on an extensive show schedule from 2010 to mid-2011 both in the local clubs and around Texas. In the summer of 2011, Project Armageddon returned to Dungeon Manor studios to record their 2nd full length record: “Tides of Doom”. This was then sent out to be mixed by Supernatural Sound in Kultland, OH. “Tides of Doom” was released in March of 2012 followed the “Tides of Doom – Texas Tour” to support & promote the record. Demo work resumed after touring the Summer of 2012, and amidst a slew of many local shows supporting the local metal scene and touring acts both national and international. Project Armageddon rocked Austin during the SXSW festival and plans additional shows in Dallas/Ft. Worth and San Antonio. The touring schedule has recently been set taking Project Armageddon around the state and to some new areas as well as supporting more international acts.

Pure guitar muscle and Texas Stoner Metal Psych insanity with universal themes like drugs, beer, sci-fi/fantasy, and Bongs of Power. If you like your riffs heavy, the solos unyielding, and the smell of the bong to billow out of your stereo, the LP4 is your band.

The Dirty Seeds. No gimmicks, just four strangers gathered together by an ape-like stoner prophet from the future to save humanity with loud rock n roll. Face melting stoner rock with enough of a groove to trick white people into thinking they know how to dance.

Event will feature the traditional Doomsgiving table set w/club decor by artist Chuyz Beard. Also photo gallery display by Goon73 Photography.


Project Armageddon, “Vortex to Oblivion”

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Deadsmoke Sign to Heavy Psych Sounds

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 27th, 2015 by JJ Koczan


Italian three-piece newcomers Deadsmoke make a fitting complement to the already-announced early 2016 release list for Heavy Psych Sounds, whose expanding roster over the course of this year has made it one of the most up and coming heavy rock imprints in the US or Europe, even if the albums are just starting to materialize from the likes of Ape Machine and Isaak. The momentum will continue in Feb. 2016 with Banquet and Duel, and in March, it’s Holy Grove and Deadsmoke, who’ll be making their self-titled debut late in the month.

A teaser trailer has been posted for the record that’s basically just 50 seconds of a riff, but it says plenty about the band’s mindset and tonal density, and about the largesse of groove that will be on offer at least somewhere on the album when it arrives. Other details, presumably, are forthcoming, but here’s the announcement from the label, who can’t seem to let a week or two slip by these days without adding a new band to the roster:

deadsmoke heavy psych sounds

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS RECORDS is stoked to announce a new band in the roster: *** Deadsmoke ***

Deadsmoke is a doom sludge Italian band sounding like deep entombed amplifiers and downtuned monolithic guitars scraping the soil down to the core of the sphere. Slow hypnotic not-harmonic cadences refresh the eternal need of isolation and the atavistic fear of nothingness. Sub lowered frequencies corrode the one last trace of human cognition, apprehension and judgment. Your soul already burned, smoke is what remains.

They already played at the mighty Duna Jam last summer and you will have the chance to see the band live at the HPS Fest Vol 2 in Rome December 12-2016!

Deadsmoke are:
Maurice: Drums
Matteo: Guitars
Gianmaria: Bass

HPS Records will release the Debut Selftitled album “Deadsmoke” late march 2016 in vinyl,cd and digital. European Tour to follow!

Be a fly on the wall while Deadsmoke prepares material for their new album, due out in spring 2016 on Heavy Psych Sounds…


Deadsmoke, Self-titled album teaser

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