The Obelisk Radio Adds: Yama, Bellhound Choir, Atala, Astralnaut & Weed Priest, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard

Posted in Radio on February 25th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk radio

I’ve been listening to a lot of The Obelisk Radio this week, so it seemed only fair to do a round of adds to the server. Might just be what came up in the selection process, but it’s seemed pretty off the wall of late. Yeah, there’s plenty of heavy riffs and whatever else, but a lot of sludge and noise stuff too. I like that because hopefully it appeals to a wider variety of listeners, though part of me thinks I should cut out everything that isn’t Goatsnake, Kyuss, Electric Wizard and two or three of the stoner-flavor-of-the-month types and just let it roll with that. One tries to quiet the cynical impulse. You know how it is.

In all seriousness though, at some point I’m going to have to trim down what’s on there. It’s only a three terabyte drive and I have neither the know-how nor the cash to expand it further, so yeah. But that’s not this week. This week, 11 new records joined the playlist — see them all at the Obelisk Radio Playlist and Updates page — and that includes those that follow here.

The Obelisk Radio adds for Feb. 25, 2015:

Yama, Ananta

yama ananta

While definitely rooted tonally in heavy rock, there’s an underlying current of metal flowing through Yama‘s debut long-player, Ananta. The four-piece, who hail from the home of Roadburn in Tilburg, the Netherlands, offer plenty of driving riffs and nodding grooves on songs like the opening title-track and the slower centerpiece “Migraine City,” nonetheless take a sharper approach than some to the style. It comes through in the vocals, which get pretty gruff by the end of the aforementioned “Migraine City,” but also over ascending notes of classic metallic soar late in “Ruach Elohim” — a song that, it’s worth noting, also starts out with harmonica — and push the John Garcia impulse to more guttural range on “Hollow” and “Swordsman of the Crossroads I.” The latter also kicks into some blastbeats, to further the metallic edge. Still, Yama – the four-piece of Alex Schenkels, Peter Taverne, Joep Schmitz and Sjoerd Albers – wield the blend well throughout and keep a solid balance. “Swordsman of the Crossroads I” and the subsequent “II” are the arguable pinnacle here, but the acoustic-led closer “Vy” seems to hint that Yama haven’t quite yet shown all their cards. Yama on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Bellhound Choir, Stray Screech Beast

Bellhound Choir Stray Screech Beast

As per the immortal words of Monty Python: “And now for something completely different.” Bellhound Choir is a solo-project from guitarist/vocalist Christian Hede Madsen, also of Copenhagen-based rockers Pet the Preacher, but there’s little in common between one and the other, and Bellhound Choir‘s debut release, Stray Screech Beast, finds Madsen exploring folk and particularly country stylizations, a sense of brooding pervasive throughout the album’s eight tracks. It’s a dark vibe that pervades “Stuck (Old Song)” and the electrified, spacious blues bombast of “Bless Me,” and as a later, relatively minimal cut like “Black Spot” shows, Madsen isn’t afraid of delving into guy-and-guitar singer-songwriterism. His voice and playing is strong enough to carry the material, though one wonders how he got that Southern twang, and Stray Screech Beast doesn’t overplay its hand at 27 minutes. There may be fire and brimstone beneath, but Madsen isn’t quite there yet in bringing it out for righteous proclamations, though I wouldn’t be surprised to find him taking on a preacherman quality on subsequent outings, as well as pushing into more complex arrangements as the experiment continues. Some rocker heads might be put off by the country vibe, but I suspect plenty will feel right at home amid the moody atmosphere and plucked guitar of “God’s Home.” Bellhound Choir on Thee Facebooks, on Soundcloud.

Atala, Atala

atala atala

Desert-dwelling trio Atala recorded their self-titled/self-released debut with Scott Reeder (Kyuss, The Obsessed, Fireball Ministry, etc.), and its eight songs break easily into two halves — the end of each signaled by a cut north of the 10-minute mark — of raucous, occasionally surprisingly aggressive heavy rock. Opener “Broken Glass” positions Atala somewhere near Fatso Jetson sonically, but less punk in their roots, guitarist/vocalist Kyle Stratton and bassist John Chavarria having previously played together in metallers Rise of the Willing while drummer Jeff Tedtoatoa is a former member of punkers Forever Came CallingStratton‘s vocals veer into sludge-metal screams from cleaner territory and seem comfortable in the back-and-forth, and that, blended with the fullness of sound, and pop in Tedtoatoa‘s snare — a hallmark of Reeder‘s production; see also Blaak Heat Shujaa — makes the meandering jam in “Labyrinth of Mind” seem all the more like a standout moment of varied impulses working to find their balance. By the time they get down to the chugging “Virgo Moon” and the ebbs and flows of closer “Sun Worship,” Atala seem to have it worked out for the most part, and while there’s still growth to be undertaken, the chemistry between the three players comes across as plain as the sands they call home. Atala’s website, on Thee Facebooks.

Astralnaut & Weed Priest, Split

4PP DIGIPACK.indd

Irish outfits Astralnaut and Weed Priest team up for a split single, and while it’s just one song from each, there’s plenty of substance between them. Thick, gooey substance, if their tones are anything to go by. Both Astralnaut‘s “Parasitic” (9:20) and Weed Priest‘s “Graveyard Planet” (7:42) are big, lumbering riffers marked out with a sludgy feel, but there are subtle differences between them as well, the former being more forward vocally and meaner in-tone and the latter more fuzzed-out and obscure in a kind of Sons of Otis-via-Electric Wizard fashion. No real mystery why they’d pair up, though, with geography and a penchant for riffy bludgeoning shared, and their split should make a fitting introduction for anyone who might be running into either band for the first time, or maybe caught wind of Weed Priest‘s lumbering 2013 self-titled debut (review here) or any of Astralnaut‘s prior short releases. First timer or not, “Parasitic” and “Graveyard Planet” tap into amp rumble and slow-motion nod that should please any riff-worshiping head looking for a sample of the bands’ wares, Astralnaut spacing out a bit in the second half of their selection as though to smooth the path into Weed Priest‘s heady, darkened roll. For the converted, a reminder of why and how they got that way. Astralnaut on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp. Weed Priest on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, Nachthexen

Mammoth-Weed-Wizard-Bastard-Nachthexen

I’ll give the UK stoner surge one thing: It wins on band names. I don’t think per capita there’s any country in the world with more stoned-as-fuck monikers than Britain. To wit, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard. The Wrexham unit make a churning debut on Tape Worship Records with the half-hour-long “Nachthexen,” a single-song EP that moves smoothly between droned-out space exploration, crush-prone doom riffs and stoner metal gallop. The latter comes to the fore just past the midsection of this mammoth, weedian, wizardly bit of bastardism — one wonders how they got their name in the first place — but by then, “Nachthexen” has already careened through cosmic doom psych-osis early on, like roughed-up YOB with droney underpinnings, and teased a thrash influence in their Slayer-style interplay of chugging guitar and ride cymbal. Of course, the most satisfying build is the last one, which builds over the song’s final seven minutes from ambient noise and sparse guitar strum to suitably huge and suitably doomed payoff. This is the kind of shit that if you played it for actual human beings, they’d look at you and wonder just what the fuck species you belong to, and that’s clearly the idea. For their psychedelic elements, I can’t help but wonder if a more colorful artwork approach isn’t called for next time out, but beyond that, there’s little about Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard‘s take that brooks any argument whatsoever, instead drowning it out in deep low end and otherworldly, malevolent vibes. Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp, Tape Worship Records.

Like I said, this is less than half of what was added to the server today. Recently-covered records from Mansion, Stoned Jesus, Blut, Skunk Hawk and others also went up, hopefully adding to the diversity of sound and overall strength of the playlist. For the full line on everything that went up, check the Playlist and Updates page. If you wind up checking out any of this stuff and take the time to dig in, I hope you enjoy.

Thanks as always for reading and listening.

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audiObelisk Transmission 045

Posted in audiObelisk on February 20th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Click Here to Download

 

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

A real blend this time around. Some of this stuff is straight up riffs and crash, and some of it gets pretty far out, even in the first hour, let alone by the time we get to the last two tracks, with Papir’s live prog freakery and Earthling Society’s trippy experimentalism. There’s a lot to dig here and, perhaps unsurprisingly, I dig it a lot. These are all, I think with the exception just of Stonebride, 2015 releases. Some, like Monolord and Blackout and Stoned Jesus, aren’t out yet, and others, like Corsair, or Elbrus, or Sandrider, are newly released.

All told, the balance works between the more straight-ahead stuff and the weirdness, but my head’s been pulled pretty hard in the direction lately of things generally more on the outer edges of genre, so it seemed only right to be honest to that impulse. It’s not too long, and if there’s something here you haven’t heard before, then of course I hope you dig it. Actually, I hope you dig it anyway, new or not. Cheers.

First Hour:
Stoned Jesus, “Here Come the Robots” from The Harvest
Black Rainbows, “The Prophet” from Hawkdope
Sandrider, “Rain” from Sandrider + Kinski
Eggnogg, “Slugworth” from Sludgy Erna Bastard Vol. 1: Borracho & Eggnogg 7”
Blackout, “Cross” from Blackout
Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters, “Devil’s Buttermilk” from Earth Hog
Shepherd, “Turdspeak” from Stereolithic Riffalocalypse
Corsair, “Coriolis” from One Eyed Horse
Kooba Tercu, “Pebble” from Kooba Tercu
Stonebride, “Sokushinbutsu” from Heavy Envelope
Monolord, “Cursing the One” from Vaenir

Second Hour:
Elbrus, “Far Away and into Space Pt. 2” from Far Away and into Space Pt. 2
King Buffalo, “Providence Eye” from split with Lé Betre
Papir, “Monday” from Live at Roadburn 2014
Earthling Society, “It’s Your Love that’s Sound” from It’s Your Love that’s Sound

Total running time: 1:53:18

 

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 045

 

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Blind Idiot God Stream “Antiquity” from Before Ever After

Posted in audiObelisk on February 19th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

blind idiot god (Photo by Seldon Hunt)

New York instrumentalists Blind Idiot God will release their first album in 23 years, Before Ever After, next Tuesday, Feb. 24, on Indivisible Music. The label is a new project helmed by guitarist Andy Hawkins, who also co-produced Before Ever After with Bill Laswell, recording over several years with drummer Tim Wyskida (Khanate) and bassist Gabe Katz, since replaced by Will Dahl what is a kind of second debut — a generational debut, maybe — for the Brooklyn-based trio, who issued their first outing as a self-titled on SST Records in 1987. Like that album, Before Ever After is a dangerous kind of offering, a 74-minute CD/2LP able to turn on a dime between precision mathematics, reggae, crunching heavy riffage, surf rock and jazz in a wordless sprawl that makes a joke of most bands’ ideas of sonic diversity. My god, it’s almost like they’re actually trying different things!

There isn’t a track to sum up everything the album does — the frenetic drumming and dissonant guitar of the aptly-titled “Barrage,” the laid-back bounce of “Night Driver,” etc. — so one might as well just find something unbelievably heavy and roll with that. To that end, I’m pleased today to be able to host “Antiquity” for streaming. The third of Before Ever After‘s 13 tracks, it follows ritualistic opener blind-idiot-god-before-ever-after“Twenty-Four Hour Dawn” (also the longest cut at 8:50; immediate points) and the more spacious but still tense post-reggae rocker “High and Mighty,” and with only a couple guitar chugs as warning soon unleashes a battery of dense riffs and furious drums that alternate between plodding and blasting. Tonally it switches between grinding bite and grueling doom, but it’s the tempo changes that really distinguish “Antiquity” from its stylistically varied surroundings, and how HawkinsWyskida and Katz are able to make these jagged transitions sound mechanically precise, so that by the end of it, there’s an almost industrial feel, despite the lack of any discernible element of electronica.

It’s also, one should note, the shortest song on Before Ever After at 3:39, and that subsequent pieces like the distortojazz “Earthmover” and dreamy surf meditation “Ramshackle” reach even further outside of stylistic bounds. The takeaway is that “Antiquity,” while unrepentantly heavy as fuck, isn’t telling the whole story of Blind Idiot God‘s return, and if you want to hear more, there’s plenty of fodder worthy for investigation. Even as the closing duo of “Strung” and “Shutdown” alternate between impact-conscious progressive metal and sweet-toned psychedelic sentiment underscored by the album’s warmest basslines, the resonant message seems to be that Blind Idiot God have even more to say than they do in the hour-plus here, and that their return from the ether has brought with it new purpose for their avant stylizations. They’re here to remind us what it means to be adventurous in sound.

Submit to “Antiquity” via the player below, followed by info for the March 7 release show in Brooklyn and more album background, and enjoy:

Indivisible Music announces new Blind Idiot God (BIG) studio album co-produced by Bill Laswell. “Andy Hawkins is a nut, a perfectionist for his amplification and the guitar, and we recorded it right,” Laswell explains about the new record. “Every detail is there. It’s probably the best thing they’ve done.” The 74-minute opus titled, Before Ever After, is slated for an early 2015 street date. The gatefold double-vinyl LP artwork was created by noted artist Seldon Hunt (Neurosis, Earth, Melvins, Sunn). Formats will include vinyl, CD and digital. The release will be celebrated with live performances in and around New York and will be co-promoted by MerchTable, local vinyl retailers and others TBA.

Blind Idiot God is Andy Hawkins on guitar and Tim Wyskida (Khanate) on drums. Gabe Katz, the band’s original bass player is featured on the album but moving forward Will Dahl is the band’s new bass player live and in the studio. Touring in support of the new album is planned for 2015. “Moving from the studio to the stage is always great,” Hawkins explains, “the music opens up dynamically, both performance wise and sonically. The human ear has a much greater dynamic range than any recorded medium and we excel at taking full advantage of that fact.” The band has shared the stage with artists like John Zorn (a collaborator who released their third album on Avant Records), Helmet, Black Flag, The Minutemen, Sonic Youth, Die Kreuzen, Don Caballero, Jesus Lizard, Napalm Death, HR, Eekamouse among many others.

BLIND IDIOT GOD Record Release Party
Saturday, March 7th
The Paper Box in Brooklyn, NY
doors 8:00 pm // tickets $10 advance, $13 at the door // 21+
also playing: Oneirogen, Rhyton, Gnaw

Blind Idiot God on Thee Facebooks

Indivisible Music

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Borracho and Eggnogg Announce Sludgy Erna Bastard Split; Both Tracks Streaming

Posted in audiObelisk on February 18th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

borracho

eggnogg

Today — pretty much right now, if you want to be technical about it — Palaver Records has launched preorders for the first in a series of split 7″s it’s calling Sludgy Erna Bastard. Say the title out loud and with just the right accent and it becomes a play on “sludgier than a bastard,” which is a standard that the first installment, featuring Washington D.C. heavy rockers Borracho and Brooklyn’s own Eggnogg, easily lives up to across its relatively brief span. Both bands contribute one song, topped off with cover art by Eggnogg guitarist Justin M. Karol, and between the two of them it’s more or less 11 minutes of choice, thick-cut riffing and heavy, rolled-out grooves, Borracho‘s “King’s Disease” finding that trio pushing further its modus of hooks and badass swing, while Eggnogg‘s “Slugworth” unleashes an elephantine stomp that’s bound to turn some heads their way.

borracho king's diseaseWhat the two bands have in common is that they’re both in the process of settling into their current configuration. For BorrachoSludgy Erna Bastard Vol. 1 is another step forward from last year’s split with Boston’s Cortez (review here) and their second full-length, 2013’s Oculus (review here), and as one can hear on the track, guitarist/vocalist Steve Fisher, bassist Tim Martin and drummer Mario Trubiano sound not only cohesive but dynamic, the chemistry between the three of them having been honed across a bevvy of short tours, around the Eastern Seaboard, in Europe last year (including a stop at Desertfest), and most recently for three shows in California last month. As their reach has expanded — they’ll also have a split out on Ripple in April/May with Volume IV – their riffy style has solidified, and after starting as a four-piece on their first album, 2011’s grower Splitting Sky (review here), they’ve progressed into one of the finest three-pieces East Coast heavy rock has to offer. “King’s Disease” has a touch of Southern-styled raucousness to it, but is right in line with the kind of roll that Borracho does best.

While Borracho went from four to three, Eggnogg have gone from three to four in the last couple years. Bassist Corey Dozier joined in 2013 as Bill O’Sullivan (also vocals) moved from bass to guitar alongside Karol, and drummer Jason Prushko (also of math-rockers Mean Little Blanket and numerous other projects) came aboard in 2012, following the recording of Eggnogg‘s most recent studio outing, the Louis EP (review here) — though they also had a compilation of material, Apocrypha, out in 2013. As the first recorded track with both Prushko and Dozier eggnogg slugworthinvolved, “Slugworth” bodes remarkably well for what might come when Eggnogg get down to releasing their awaited next full-length, You’re all Invited, as their nod has never sounded more righteous. “Slugworth” starts out all quiet an unassuming, but once the full tonal thickness kicks in, it’s an enviable push of low end, Prushko‘s kick drum the hard foot landing each crater-making marker of time. Palaver says Eggnogg‘s You’re all Invited is due to release later this year. Listening to “Slugworth,” I hope even more that turns out to be the case.

Sludgy Erna Bastard Vol. 1: Borracho & Eggnogg is out March 19 and can be ordered now from Borracho‘s Bandcamp and Eggnogg‘s Bandcamp. Please enjoy the premiere of “King’s Disease” and “Slugworth” below, followed by the official announcement from Palaver:

Palaver Records announce split 7” featuring Borracho & Eggnogg

Palaver Records announce the release of a new split 7” single featuring Washington, DC riff monopolizers Borracho and Brooklyn, New York-based genre-bending heavy rockers Eggnogg, to be released on March 19. The record will feature a brand new Borracho original “King’s Disease” and new Eggnogg tripper “Slugworth.” The limited edition of 300 copies will be available on black vinyl, with original artwork by Eggnogg’s own Justin Karol. Both tracks can now be streamed at TheObelisk.net, and preorders are available from Palaver Records.

The record is the first in Palaver Records’ new “Sludgy Erna Bastard” series, that aims to pair up and highlight some of the best heavy underground acts today. Palaver Records representative Gary Branigan said “We’ve been working with Eggnogg for 4-5 years now and really want to embrace this scene. We’ve never seen such a responsive audience. Sludgy Erna Bastard will cater to fans of heavy rock (desert, stoner, doom, sludge, psychedelic), specifically those that love vinyl. The name Sludgy Erna Bastard is a play on words from an American phrase. This is the first of many Sludgy Erna Bastard releases. All of which will feature two bands with artwork by Justin Karol from Eggnogg.”

Sludgy Erna Bastard will be Eggnogg’s first release since 2013’s Eggnogg Apocrypha. After a break in studio recording following the departure of drummer Ryan Quinn, Eggnogg is proud to present the “Slugworth” single, a fascinating excerpt from their forthcoming LP You’re All Invited. Featuring the drumming of Jason Prushko, who joined Eggnogg’s ranks in the summer of 2012, “Slugworth” marks a new height of creative achievement for the band. “Slugworth” is an indication of things to come from a newly resurrected Eggnogg—one which promises to be “sludgier than a bastard.” Eggnogg’s part in the split single Sludgy Erna Bastard will pave the way for their full-length You’re All Invited, which will be released in 2015.

This release is Borracho’s second split 7” in the past year, following 2014’s split with Cortez. In that time the band has taken their live show to Europe and back, and will be kicking off a schedule of winter and spring dates in the eastern US starting tomorrow. The dates include some familiar stops, and team the band up with some powerhouses and rising stars of the US stoner/doom scene. Their March 20 hometown show at The Pinch in Washington DC will serve as the official 7” release show, and will also feature Columbus OH fuzz-freaks Lo-Pan and Detroit’s Against the Grain. Expect more news and new music from Borracho very soon.

Borracho Eastern US dates
February 19 – Washington, DC @ Velvet Lounge w/ Carousel, Joy & Caustic Casanova
March 20 – Washington, DC @ The Pinch w/ Lo-Pan & Against the Grain
March 26 – Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie w/ Doctor Smoke, Wasted Theory & Heavy Temple
March 27 – York, PA @ The Depot w/ Doctor Smoke & Wasted Theory
March 28 – Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery w/ Elder, Fortress & The Convocation
April 25 – Stroudsburgh, PA @ The Livingroom
June 7 – Washington, DC @ The Pinch w/ Mos Generator, Wounded Giant & Wasted Theory

Borracho on Thee Facebooks

Borracho on Bandcamp

Eggnogg on Thee Facebooks

Eggnogg on Bandcamp

Palaver Records’ store

Palaver Records

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Mountain God Stream Forest of the Lost EP in its Entirety

Posted in audiObelisk on February 17th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

mountain-god

The single-song Forest of the Lost EP from Brooklyn four-piece Mountain God first came to my attention when the band played part of it at a late-2013 gig at The Grand Victory in their native borough. Mountain God had a different lineup at that point, but it was easy enough to see that their noise-infused post-sludge was coming together quickly in the wake of earlier-that-year’s Experimentation on the Unwilling demo tape (review here). Resonant in both its crushing tones and bleak atmospherics, Forest of the Lost is set to be released this Friday as a limited cassette at a show held at Brooklyn’s The Acheron after more than a year in the pipeline.

For many, the 19-minute single-song narrative will be their first encounter with Mountain God, who also made the trip west last year to play Hoverfest in Portland, Oregon. Recorded as the four-piece of guitarist/vocalist Ben Ianuzzi, bassist Nikhil Kamineni, keyboardist Jonathan Powell (since replaced by vocalist/noisemaker Chris “Dickler” Dialogue) mountain god forest of the lostand drummer Ian Murray (since replaced by Ryan Smith, also of Thera Roya), “Forest of the Lost” works in two parts, both of which offer resolute churn as they make their way toward a noisy apex. One can see in the waveform that the split comes past the halfway point in the 19:19 sprawl — or what would be a sprawl but for the claustrophobic feel of the track — and the first part devolves from fervent chugging into a wash of noise only to have the second movement pick up with a near-psychedelic feel in the guitar, airy like post-rock gone awry and abducted along some desolate highway.

Prior to that divide, Mountain God (as they were) take doom’s tonal lurch and post-hardcore sludge’s bombast to someplace entirely more malevolent, never losing sight of atmosphere as Ianuzzi snarls out echo-soaked vocal misanthropy. Past the five-minute mark, they set about pulling the song to pieces, Murray‘s drums grounding an otherwise untenable onslaught of drone, and during minute 11, the guitar steps forward to introduce the central riff of the second half, an intensity that jams en route to a head that, by the time it gets there, is more slammed than played, the last hits of “Forest of the Lost” also proving some of the hardest hitting. The consuming force of the EP — recorded and mixed by Kamineni at Archaic Audio – isn’t to be understated, but it’s worth letting you find that out for yourself, so I’ll get the hell out of the song’s way and do that.

Stream “Forest of the Lost” on the player below and dig into the release/show info, which follows:

On February 20th, 2015, Mountain God will release its sophomore record, “Forest of the Lost”. The EP is a concept record, consisting of a single song broken down into different movements.

The diverse track twists and turns over the course of 20 minutes, focusing on the plight of a medieval village, located somewhere in the deepest recesses of mankind’s history. The village children, left to their own devices, disappear into the night searching for proof of a local witch, all the while their parents engage in acts of depravity and debauchery.

As the story reaches a climax, the listener is challenged into thinking about the cast of characters, and the true nature of good, evil, neutrality, and indifference. Musically, the record is a melding of 60s and 70s psychedelics and aesthetics with the heaviness, crunch, and shattering riffs of traditional doom and metal.

Mountain God, in conjunction with the acclaimed booking/promotion agency Signature Riff (New Jersey), is proud to announce the “Forest of the Lost” record release show, to be held at the Acheron (Brooklyn, NY) on February 20th, 2015. “Forest of the Lost” will be available to download through Mountain God’s bandcamp page, as well as physically through a limited run of 50 cassettes.

MOUNTAIN GOD (NYC) Record Release Show (Archaic Revival Records) w/ IMPERIAL TRIUMPHANT (NYC), HERCYN (NJ) and DREADLORDS (PA)
When: Feb 20th, 2015
Where: The Acheron, 57 Waterbury Street in Brooklyn
Cost: $5 advance/$8 day of
Doors: 8pm

Mountain God on Thee Facebooks

Mountain God on Bandcamp

Release Show Event Page

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Chiefs Premiere “Vovi” from Tomorrow’s Over; New Album out Feb. 24

Posted in audiObelisk on February 17th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

Chiefs

Southwestern trio Chiefs will officially release their debut album, Tomorrow’s Over, next Tuesday on Roosevelt Row Records CD/DL (vinyl in May on Battleground). A current of straightforwardness runs through the record’s 11 tracks, four of which are inherited from Chiefs‘ 2013 demo, Buffalo Roam, and those songs — “Buffalo Roam,” “Palms,” “1999” and “Tomorrow’s Over” — feature in prominent spots. “Buffalo Roam” opens, “Tomorrow’s Over” closes, and “Palms” and “1999” are spaced between newer cuts like “Like a Match,” “Tesla” and “Sharpshooter,” which affirm among other things that Chiefs knew what they were going for their first time out. That demo, recorded as a two-piece with guitarist/vocalist Paul Valle and drummer Stephen Varns – the band is now Valle, bassist Jeff Podeszwik and drummer Kevin Michel – is still available to download, and while of course the sound is fuller as a three-piece and more developed, the basic structures are pretty much intact. And structure is a big part of what Chiefs do.

As noted, Tomorrow’s Over is a straightforward affair. There’s little trickery involved, and the album’s 45 minutes work more as a showcase of heavy rock songwriting prowess than of stylistic experimentation. That is to say, Chiefs have their paperwork in order; they sound assured in their presentation and are ready to continue progressing from here. One rarely thinks of a debut album as a stopgap — and I wouldn’t call Tomorrow’s Over one either, as it would take away from the substance and vibe VallePodeszwik and Michel have working in their favor throughout — but the thrustchiefs tomorrow's over in a song like “Lows and Highs” and the Truckfighters-style percussive tension in “Peel” speak to an eagerness on the part of the three-piece to get on with it. I’ve received no word that one is, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all to learn a follow-up to Tomorrow’s Over was already underway in some fashion. Again, that doesn’t mean Chiefs‘ debut can’t stand on its own. In tone and catchiness, they envision a post-Kyuss incarnation of Helmet, more heavy rock than noise, but with a few-frills undertone that comes through in their verse/chorus tradeoffs, in the turns of mood between “Like a Match”and “Ride” near the start of the record and in Valle‘s vocal approach, which recalls Page Hamilton circa “Unsung.”

One could pick any number of tracks to represent the whole of Tomorrow’s Over, since they feed into a central vibe that persists across the span, but “Vovi” is a particularly efficient encapsulation of what Chiefs are able to make work so well in dealing with familiar elements and crafting something concrete and engaging from them. The crunch of their tones is immediate, but “Vovi” smoothly shifts between open-sounding verse thud and the hooks of its instrumental bridge and subsequent chorus. While grooving, it asks little more of the listener than participation in that process, as Chiefs remain wholly unpretentious throughout Tomorrow’s Over, of which “Vovi” is the penultimate track before the title cut closes out. For anyone who heard Chiefs‘ 2014 split with Fuzz Evil (review here), it should make a suitable answer to the potential that they showed on that release while also setting up the creative growth that they seem so eager to get moving.

Please find “Vovi” on the player below, followed by some quick bio background from the PR wire, and enjoy:

CHIEFS originally began as a two-piece back in January of 2012 in Phoenix, AZ, but after years of releasing demos, touring and playing often around the Phoenix Valley, the duo made the decision to relocate to San Diego, CA. Shortly after, they released a four-song demo entitled Buffalo Roam, and did numerous short west-coast tours to support it. Eventually the group became a three-piece with the permanent addition of bassist Jeff Podeszwik, who filled out the low-end of the band and transformed their sound.

Hot off the heels of releasing a split 7″ with Fuzz Evil through Battleground Records, CHIEFS have returned with a debut full-length record in the bag, entitled Tomorrow’s Over. It was recorded at Arcane Digital Recording Studio in Chandler AZ and recorded, mixed and mastered by Ryan Butler (Landmine Marathon/Unruh). The record will be out on February 24th through Roosevelt Row Records on CD/DD, with a vinyl reissue through Battleground Records shortly thereafter.

Chiefs on Thee Facebooks

Chiefs on Bandcamp

Roosevelt Row Records’ BigCartel store

Roosevelt Row Records on Thee Facebooks

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The Obelisk Radio Adds: Primitive Man, Sandrider + Kinski, Hiram-Maxim, Obrero and Elbrus

Posted in Radio on February 16th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

the obelisk radio

I know it’s not the usual custom to do Radio adds on Mondays, but what the hell, it’s not exactly like there are rules one way or another, and my desktop has hit eight rows deep of folders with albums in them, so whatever day it might be, it’s time to clear out as much of it as possible. A full 22 records join The Obelisk Radio playlist today. Some of it is very strange, some of it pretty straightforward, but one way or another, I think it all makes the stream better and more diverse, and that’s what it’s all about. For the full list of everything added, check out the Playlist and Updates page.

The Obelisk Radio adds for Feb. 16, 2015:

Primitive Man, Home is Where the Hatred Is

12 Jacket (3mm Spine) [GDOB-30H3-007}

After their destructive 2013 Relapse Records debut, Scorn (review here), Primitive Man‘s reputation for brutality precedes them. The Denver trio’s new EP, Home is Where the Hatred Is, is only likely to further that reputation, its four tracks alternating between grueling, unrepentantly slow-lumbering, ungodly-toned extremity and fits of grinding megaviolence. The release is arranged longest to shortest so that opener “Loathe” (11:03) is sure to weed out the weaker constitutions en route to the ensuing crushers “Downfall” (8:43) and “Bag Man” (7:09). The closer, “A Marriage with Nothingness” (4:17) is a collage of noise and fedback threat topped with a sample of a woman either in ecstasy or agony — in context it’s kind of hard to tell — but the message is plain either way. One might think of that cut as an answer to Primitive Man‘s 2013 P//M Noise Tape, which also explored droning forms between covers of PortisheadBlack Sabbath and Crowbar. Perhaps most foreboding of all is how smoothly Primitive Man shift between the facets of their increasingly diverse sound, since it speaks to a progression in progress in terms of bringing the various elements together. A beast is one thing, but a thinking beast seems all the more ominous. They may be in the process of outgrowing their name, but a savage force remains at the heart of their bludgeoning. Primitive Man on Thee Facebooks, Relapse Records.

Sandrider and Kinski, Sandrider + Kinski Split

sandrider kinski split

With geography in common in their Seattle base of operation, Sandrider and Kinski present their Sandrider + Kinski split on Good to Die Records with three new songs from the former, including a cover of Jane’s Addiction‘s “Mountain Song,” and two from the latter, working in instrumental, textured heavy psychedelic forms that complement Sandrider‘s bombastic approach as heard on their two full-lengths to date, 2013’s Godhead (review here) and 2011’s self-titled debut (review here). Both “Beyond in Touch with My Feminine Side” (8:42) and “The Narcotic Comforts of the Status Quo” (5:17) flesh out open spaces, rich in tone and flowing movement, with the closer more of a riffy, space-rock feel while “Beyond in Touch with My Feminine Side” is more exploratory, fading out at its end is the jam sort of deconstructs below lead guitar. As for Sandrider‘s “Rain” (4:47) and “Glaive” (4:40), for anyone who’s heard the rolling punk heaviness of their albums, it should be enough to say they sound like Sandrider – upbeat and catchy and furious and kinetic — and while I’m not sure anyone ever needed to hear a Jane’s Addiction song ever again (ever.), they take what was probably the band’s best riff and re-suit it to their own purposes, which if you’re going to do it at least is the right way to go about it. Sandrider on Thee Facebooks, Kinski on Thee Facebooks, Good to Die Records.

Hiram-Maxim, Hiram-Maxim

hiram-maxim hiram-maxim

Ultimately, Hiram-Maxim‘s self-titled Aqualamb debut reads more like an experiment in the deconstruction of sound than an album in the traditional sense, and perhaps I use the word “reads” because it’s a book. As has become Aqualamb‘s modus, the four-track release comes as a 100-page artbook and a download that contains its nonetheless-vinyl-ready darkened forms, whether it’s the brooding “One” (11:47) with backing drones and open guitars or the preceding “Can’t Stop” (11:55) with its rising current of abrasive, almost grating noise that gradually consumes whatever song was there to start with. It is a dark atmosphere, and the opener, “Visceral”  (7:14), is well titled, but the pervading vibe is more exploratory than theatrical; like the listener, the Cleveland four-piece are feeling their way through these deep reaches, and when they come around to the apex of closer “Worship” (6:25), the resolution they seem to find is frantic and desolate in turn. In another universe, one might call it punk rock. Here, it is gleefully and thoroughly fucked. Hiram-Maxim on Thee Facebooks, Aqualamb.

Obrero, The Infinite Corridors of Time

Obrero The Infinite Corridors of Time

The Infinite Corridors of Time, the second long-player from Stockholm old-schoolers Obrero should — contrary to their logo — appeal to fans of Hour of 13 and Argus and others who’ve made preservation of classic metal their mission, skirting the fine line between doomly Sabbath worship and proto-NWOBHM stylized forwardness of purpose. The double-guitar five-piece show some penchant for ’70s heavy rock on cuts like “Oneironaut” (6:20) and “The Axial Age” (5:40) but by and large their purposes are more metallic, meshing AC/DC and Judas Priest impulses into the keyboard-laden “Manchester Morgue” (5:01) or “Phobos and Deimos” (5:42), which stands out for its hook and successful blend alike. At eight tracks/52 minutes, The Infinite Corridors of Time is no minor undertaking — there is no song under five minutes long — but their use of keys allows Obrero to work in various moods, and for those seeking purity in their metal, the Swedish outfit offer glimpses without being wholly derivative of what’s come before. Obrero on Thee Facebooks, To the Death Records.

Elbrus, Far Away and into Space Pt. 2

Elbrus Far Away and into Space Pt. 2

If you feel like you missed out on Far Away and into Space Pt. 1, don’t worry about it. Melbourne, Australia, four-piece Elbrus are actually starting out with Pt. 2, and it’s their debut single, an 11-minute psychedelic push of heavy blues rock, stoner rollout and organ-blessed jamming. I’m not sure it’s safe yet to call what’s happening in Melbourne right now a “heavy blues revival” as acts like Elbrus and Child delve into such sonic territory — if only because with bands like Horsehunter and Hotel Wrecking City Traders out there, the city’s take on heavy isn’t so easily categorized — but one rarely recognizes such things until beaten over the head by them. Either way, “Far Away and into Space Pt. 2″ gracefully looses a molten flow over its 11:06 stretch, vocalist/organist Ollie Bradley-Smith unafraid to cut through the natural-sounding, weighted tones of guitarist Ringo Camilleri and bassist Mafi Watson while Tom Todorovic‘s drums smooth the way between volume and tempo changes and add cymbal-crash swing to both. It’s a smooth-grooved nod, and aside from making me curious to hear the first installment of “Far Away and into Space,” it makes me wonder what Elbrus might next encounter as that journey unfolds. Elbrus on Thee Facebooks, on Bandcamp.

One more time, this is not even a quarter of what’s been added today. There’s also stuff from Black Rainbows, Felipe Arcazas, Headless Kross, Warhorse, Twingiant and others, so please make sure you hit up the Obelisk Radio Playlist and Updates page to see the full list.

Thanks as always for reading and listening.

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Terminal Fuzz Terror Stream “Megalodon” from Vol. 0: In the Shadow of the Mountain

Posted in audiObelisk on February 16th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

terminal-fuzz-terror

Named for its 17-minute closing track, Vol. 0: In the Shadow of the Mountain is the debut full-length from Seattle experimental heavy rockers Terminal Fuzz Terror, set to release limited-style on Robotic Empire March 3. It is an off-the-wall freakout beast that hearkens to multiple eras — ’60s psych meandering, ’70s riffing, ’90s purposeful weirdness, etc. — and in so doing is invariably of the modern moment: what navelgazing might be if you did it into other people’s bellybuttons; a broken mirror showing different angles of an already fractured reality. Plus it grooves!

Opener “Senseless Boogie” would seem to tell the whole tale, but in truth it’s only part of the story, and whether it’s the funtime freakout of “Zealousy” or the psych-punk thrust of centerpiece “Megalodon,” the four-piece of guitarist/vocalists D. Rodriguez and D. Nelson, bassist J. Kleine and drummer A. Crawshaw hone a chaotic swirl that feels like it could at any point fly off the handle entirely. Likewise the repeated echoing incantations of “Cycles,” which seems to call Satan not so much to spread misery and hellishness over terminal fuzz terror vol. 0 in the shadow of the mountainthe earth, but rather to crack a beer and mess around with effects pedals, and of course “In the Shadow of the Mountain,” the monolithic semi-title-track is a focal point — at just a little less than half the 36-minute runtime, there’s no way it wouldn’t be — but rather than get lost in their own grandiosity, Terminal Fuzz Terror turn plod into ritual before warping into one last high-speed wah-drenched jam, paying off what’s come before, sure, but also breathing life into a form of space rock that’s more than Hawkwind idolatry and flange overload.

If you feel like you can dig it, you’re probably right. “Megalodon” is available for streaming on the player below, and by way of a heads up, look out for near-immediate push, obscure garage-echo vocals and weirdo breaks, a biting tonal mania rife with unhinged churn that cleverly masks just how structured the song actually is. Terminal Fuzz Terror are hardly traditional in the verse/chorus sense, but there are themes to latch onto throughout Vol. 0: In the Shadow of the Mountain, and “Megalodon” works quickly to establish its own amid the cosmic reverb captured by Tad Doyle at his Studio Witch Ape and mastered by James Plotkin.

One more time, vinyl is out March 3 in finite quantities. Album info follows the player:

Terminal Fuzz Terror is a Seattle-based band comprised of D. Rodriguez (guitar, vocals), D. Nelson (guitar, vocals), A. Crawshaw (drums) and J. Kleine (bass). Drummer Crawshaw also runs the Seattle based screen printing monolith Broken Press, who printed the jacket for TFT’s hand assembled, limited release. Their vinyl debut, Vol 0: In The Shadow Of The Mountain, was recorded at Witch Ape Studio, engineered and mixed by Tad Doyle (TAD) and mastered by James Plotkin.

Limited to 300 copies and including a high-quality digital download, 50 special deluxe versions of the record will include an embroidered 4″ round patch and come packaged in a tote bag.

Vol 0: In The Shadow Of The Mountain is Terminal Fuzz Terror’s strongest work to date, and is available digitally to pre-order now, with vinyl available via Robotic Empire on March 3rd.

Preorder at Robotic Empire

Preorder on iTunes

Terminal Fuzz Terror on Thee Facebooks

Terminal Fuzz Terror on Bandcamp

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