Review & Full Album Stream: The Black Wizards, Reflections

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on August 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

The Black Wizards Reflections

[Click play above to stream The Black Wizards’ Reflections in its entirety. Album is out Aug. 23 through Kozmik Artifactz and Raging Planet.]

Reflections is what it sounds like when a band learns the lessons of their past releases and incorporates them into the next one. The third full-length from Portuguese heavy psych blues rockers The Black Wizards, the seven-track Kozmik Artifactz and Raging Planet-issued outing scales back from the 2LP that was 2017’s self-released What the Fuzz! (review here) to a single 41-minute platter with a structure that seems to maximize the overarching flow and still manage to capture a sense of the breadth in their approach, from fervent boogie rock to bluesy sway and onward into resonant psychedelic drift as it rounds out. This range, coupled with the organic style and songwriting approach from guitarists Joana Brito (also vocals) and Paulo Ferreira and the double-João rhythm section of bassist João Mendes and drummer João Lugatte, helps make Reflections an easy bet to win hearts and minds among the converted, as some of the boogie in What the Fuzz! is drawn down into the taffy-pull psych of “Starlight” and closer “Kaleidoscope Eyes,” the band clearly saving their most immersive vibes for the end of each side, in traditional fashion.

“Traditional fashion” could be seen as a kind of running theme for the album, but Reflections is by no means retro. Given the usage of the title-line in “Kaleidoscope Eyes” — a highlight unto itself — I wouldn’t necessarily think the band intended so when they named the album, but their approach to classic heavy rock and psych and blues and all the rest of the stylistic combustibles melted into their sound is very much reflective. Not an exact emulation in the sense of capturing a “vintage” spirit in the actual listening experience — their scope is way too broad and production way too vast for such a thing — but reflecting those ideas back on themselves in a different form. It begins with opener “Imposing Sun” as Lugatte‘s sticks-on-rim tension and Brito‘s vocals lead into a swirl-laced heavy rocker with layers of backing vocals dug deep into the mix and a forward guitar line that’s like sped-up Monster Magnet doing Hawkwind doing Rolling Stones. The vibrato in Brito‘s voice will be familiar to anyone who heard What the Fuzz! or the prior 2015 debut, Lake of Fire, but as everything seems to be, it’s put here to more mature and accomplished-feeling use.

Side A presents a few fascinating turns. True, it works as shorter songs offset by longer ones — three minutes, six, four, six, goes the tracklisting — but second cut “Outlaws” (6:26) introduces more of the psych-blues spirit, with echo ringing out from Brito over rising-sun riffing and a build of effects wash that leads to an immersive linear progression the payoff for which is a righteous return to the central hook riff. The track is little short of a triumph and a fair enough summary of The Black Wizards‘ encompassing style at its best, but it doesn’t tell the whole tale, which continues with the boogie-down spirit of “56th Floor,” though even that start-stoppery has a sense of space to its guitar and drums and some drift in its second half, asking more questions even as it sees fit to answer a few of them as well. The presumed side A finish is in “Starlight,” which is shorter than “Outlaws” at 6:16, but more drawn out in its unfolding of guitar and more patient in its execution overall, presenting Reflections‘ most atmospheric moment in a departure from the groove-groove-groove of the track prior, because take that, expectation. As the whole-album centerpiece and the transition into side B, its role is vital, and “Starlight” lives up to that without a doubt.

the black wizards

That’s all the better to lead into “Symphony of the Ironic Sympathies,” which is the longest track on Reflections at 7:57 and moves from wah-drenched verses to a tuned-in psych rock explosion in its choruses to a righteous melodic slowdown at its midpoint that moves through an instrumental section and into a spoken preach from Brito that reminds of Colour Haze‘s “Peace, Brothers & Sisters!” as she gains intensity before dropping out as the song begins to draw down. It’s a surprising moment, but not at all out of place, since by that time the flow of the record is broad enough to allow The Black Wizards to go pretty much wherever they want sound-wise. Accordingly, the penultimate “Soul Keeper” touches on All Them Witches-style blues licks and jams itself forward for about the first five minutes before cutting the volume behind the vocals to let their reverb carry the ending as the shift into “Kaleidoscope Eyes” takes hold, guitar, bass and drums introducing the album’s finale with grace that’s by then well established but every bit deserving of the reinforcement it gets.

It isn’t necessarily a surprise that The Black Wizards would save the most expansive moment on Reflections for last — though I suppose there are arguments to be made for “Starlight” in that regard as well — but they deliver the finishing move as a summary of the offering preceding and tie together sometimes disparate turns with a fluidity that lets the listener know for sure there’s been a master plan at work all the while. That too underscores the idea of Reflections as an actual reflection, but in this case, the band reflecting on what they’ve done before and how to bring a new level of accomplishment to their sound. There’s no question they’ve done precisely that, as the full and natural melodies and weight of their material is nonetheless carried with such ease both by them and by anyone who would take on the record to discover where it and the band end up by the time it’s done. The Black Wizards‘ obvious internalizing of their strengths is palpable here, and the paring down they’ve done in terms of runtime has allowed them all the more to bring the songs into focus, which is exactly where they belong.

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Von Detta Premiere “Thanks for Your Time”; Burn it Clean EP out Sept. 13

Posted in audiObelisk on August 20th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

von detta

The idea of ‘burning clean’ could hardly be more appropriate for the second Von Detta EP, which is out Sept. 13 through Polderrecords, since that’s essentially what they do for the 32-minute runtime of the six-song release. At that length, one might question whether or not Burn it Clean is actually an album, but it’s not an argument I feel like having with myself right now, so I won’t. Either way, it’s with the crisp, indeed clean, production of the outing through which the Ghent, Belgium, outfit’s tracks seem to land their blows. Beginning with a brief piano intro — a possible reference to 2016’s Exit Grand Piano debut EP — there’s no lack of flow throughout, and their tones are rich, but there’s no hiding behind distortion here. The vocals are forward on opener “Reach Out” and the subsequent “Thanks for Your Time,” and with an undercurrent of metal resting beneath, Von Detta execute their material with precision and purpose, layering elements over each other in a way that feels delicately or at least intentionally arranged, sometimes reminding my US East Coast ears of The Giraffes for the amount of tension they build in their verses and choruses and the volatility that seems to be at root beneath their sharp-edged exterior.

That might come through most on “Devil’s Child” when the screams let loose, but it’s there in the guitar of “Thanks for Your Time” and the swaggering “Reach Out,” as well as the confrontational “Little Man Big World,” which unfurls a bruiser riff met with one von detta burn it cleanof Burn it Clean‘s most resonant hooks. “The Vault” brings in either some guest or some falsetto vocals in the midsection before a bluesy solo, and again, true to title, it all seems to be leading to the nine-minute finale “Masterplan,” which sees the band embrace a more patient but still linear execution, working from a quiet opening toward first a driving apex and then a residual comedown that cuts out to a return of the piano from the EP’s intro, bookending and adding a sense of completion that expands on the initial movement. Even the finish, then, is clean, classy, clear. It’s not to say Von Detta are somehow lacking impact. If anything, the fact that their sound pulls so few punches in terms of production only makes them seem all the more confrontational, particularly amid the periodic screams — Von Detta have a new frontman; he fits well — and other harder-hitting elements. Again, the sense is very much that they’re not trying to hide anything, not trying to obscure anything in a wash of effects.

Naturally, I wouldn’t argue that everyone who uses effects is or that doing so has no aesthetic value, but for Von Detta‘s songwriting method on Burn it Clean, burning it clean makes sense. You can hear it for yourself with the premiere of “Thanks for Your Time” on the player below, which is followed by some more background from the PR wire, because one likes to be thorough.

Please enjoy:

Hailing from Ghent, Belgium, VON DETTA started out in 2013, as a riff based groove quintet. While celebrating their love for old school rock ‘n roll, the 2016 EP ‘Exit Grand Piano’ release came soon after, as the band’s first piece of recorded work.

To make things clean, one must burn away the filth… with ‘Burn It Clean’, VON DETTA are set to release an EP to captivate your musical senses and stir up the groove. Being both raw and elegant, rough and sublime, ‘Burn It Clean’ comes with a soulful lasting echo. The six songs are one rip-roaring episode after another straight from each the band members’ lives. A soundtrack reminiscent of the battles of between your inner angels and demons.

‘Burn It Clean’ Tracklist:
01. Reach Out
02. Thanks For Your Time
03. Devil’s Child
04. Little Man Big World
05. The Vault
06. Masterplan

Von Detta is:
Jonas Verhelst
Ief de Deurwaerder
Jeroen Vandamme
Koen De Borle
Manuel Remmerie

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Von Detta on Bandcamp

Polderrecords website

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Stew Premiere “Endless Journey”; Debut Album People out Oct. 11

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on August 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

stew

Ripple Music welcome Swedish trio Stew for the Oct. 11 release of the band’s debut album, People. The album follows a 2018 EP, Hot, and the announcement comes coupled with the unveiling of “Endless Journey,” which you can hear premiering at the bottom of this post. Its easy-rolling groove is palpable, as well as a post-Zeppelin approach to guitar strumming, vocal push and foundational rhythmic bombast in the drums. Still, “Endless Journey” is nothing if it’s not a heavy ’10s nodder, as the break to organ before the resurgence of its central riff demonstrates, the song not even over before the structure has imprinted itself on the mind of the listener. I haven’t heard the full record yet, but as teasers go, “Endless Journey” gets the job done easily when it comes to piquing interest, as of course I hope you’ll agree.

Stew recorded the album this past February in live fashion, and I think that energy comes through in “Endless Journey,” so I’ll expect no less from the entirety of People when it arrives. These cats seem to have a pretty solid grasp on a classic sound and how to make it work in a modern context. Take a couple minutes and hear for yourself.

Here’s the album announcement:

stew people

70’s blues rockers STEW unveil first single and details for upcoming album “People”, out October 11th on Ripple Music.

Lindesberg’s hard blues trio STEW successfully surf the pioneering era of rock’n’roll with their debut album “People”, out October 11th on Ripple Music.

Preorder here: https://ripplemusic.bigcartel.com/products?utf8=%E2%9C%93&search=stew+-+people

Markus Åsland’s hot and groovy vocals will lead your way to this promising debut album, which brilliantly explores the blues rock spectrum. Taking its cue from soul, psych and acid rock, and pretty much all the good vibes coming from that an unforgettable era that brought about what we now call cosmic rock. Rory Gallagher and Stevie Ray Vaughan may come to mind when listening to “People”, yet this is no surprise: STEW have brought back a maestria in modern blues that is utterly soulful and filled with irresistible hooks.

STEW comment: “Just like the first EP the whole album is recorded live except from vocals and solos. The recording of the album was finished in nine days at Studio Oktober, Karlskoga with engineer Jonas Ljungkvist. We wanted the album to be a classic rock sounding album like the ones from the 70’s that we love.”

STEW New album “People”
Out October 11th on Ripple Music

TRACK LISTING :
1. Intro
2. Right On Time
3. People
4. Newborn
5. Endless Journey
6. Play The Fool
7. Godless
8. Afraid Of Getting Nowhere
9. Sweet And True
10. Fruits
11. Morning Again

STEW are:
Markus Åsland – Bass & Vocals
Nicklas Jansson – Guitar
Nicklas Dahlgren – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/stewsweden/
https://www.instagram.com/stew_band
https://stew1.bandcamp.com/releases
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

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Streaming: Saint Vitus Interview with Dave Chandler

Posted in audiObelisk, Features on August 16th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

saint vitus

It was a decade ago now that Saint Vitus began their reunion. At that point, it had been 14 years since the release of their final album, Die Healing (discussed here), in 1995. The not-quite-fully-original-but-definitely-the-most-influential lineup was guitarist Dave Chandler, vocalist Scott “Wino” Weinrich, bassist Mark Adams and drummer Armando Acosta, the last of whom would soon be replaced by Henry Vasquez (Blood of the Sun), who had drummed for Chandler‘s short-lived Debris Inc. outfit earlier in the aughts, and would ultimately pass away in 2010Vitus — who are arguably the most influential American doom band, and certainly the most influential the West Coast ever produced — were knee-deep in triumphant reunion tours by then, between Europe and the US, and they’d continue to roll out a packed schedule after signing to Season of Mist and releasing the long-awaited Lillie: F-65 (review here) in 2012.

From there, things proceeded in a fashion that can only be considered pure Vitus. A couple years of steady touring followed supporting Lillie: F-65 and celebrating their landmark catalog, until Weinrich got arrested in Norway in late-2014 for amphetamines, and the band seemed to come apart. Enter original vocalist Scott Reagers, last heard from with what was then a return performance on Die Healing, to take up the frontman role. More touring commenced and the band went on to issuesaint vitus saint vitus Live Vol. 2 (review here) in 2016. Already the proposition of a new studio album had been raised, but work was inevitably stunted by the departure of bassist Mark Adams — a quiet presence on stage, but a founding member and someone essential to the sound all along — owing to complications from Parkinson’s disease. A replacement was found in Pat Bruders of Down and Outlaw Order, and with a somehow-brand-new-but-still-half-original lineup, Saint Vitus once again took to the road and took on the task of their next record.

Saint Vitus‘ 1984 debut, Saint Vitus, is a genuine landmark in doom. A Calipunk answer to Black Sabbath at their gutsiest and grimiest, it has stood the test of time for over 30 years and only grown more relevant with each passing decade. That Saint Vitus in 2019 — ChandlerReagersVasquez and Bruders — should title their new album Saint Vitus (review here) is no coincidence. How could it be? And from the quintessential doomly roll of “Remains” and “Last Breath” to the pulsating energy of “Bloodshed” and the delightfully hardcore punk closer “Useless,” it is in every way a reclamation of Saint Vitus‘ identity as a group. Call it full-circle or don’t, but it’s a record that both embraces who they’ve always been and gleefully, mischievously screws with genre-based preconceptions, Reager‘s growls and soaring voice essential to the personality of the outing even as Chandler steps in for a spoken word take on the experimentalist noise of “City Park.”

I won’t take away from what Bruders and Vasquez do together as a rhythm section, and why the hell would I, but no question that having Chandler and Reagers paired up again gives the 2019 Saint Vitus a clash-of-the-titans-style feel, and for more than just Chandler‘s seemingly endless collection of pro-wrestling t-shirts. In every way, the tracks on Saint Vitus — which again united the group with producer Tony Reed (Mos Generator, etc.) — earn the banner of the band’s name under which they arrive, and for the fact that Saint Vitus has endured in one form or another for the last 40 years, their spirit of survival continues to be a middle finger raised high in defiance of everything, including, at times, themselves.

There’s a lot of doom out there, but there’s only one Dave Chandler, and I was fortunate enough to talk to him a while back, before the album came out in May. You’ll find the audio of the interview below. Thanks for checking it out if you do.

Enjoy:

Interview with Dave Chandler

 

Saint Vitus, Saint Vitus (2019)

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Saint Vitus website

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Season of Mist website

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Chron Goblin Premiere “Slipping Under”; Here Before Due Sept. 27; Touring in October

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on August 16th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

chron goblin

Although Chron Goblin ultimately keep the foundation of classically structured songwriting that has served them well up to this point, there’s no question the mood has shifted somewhat on the Calgary natives’ fourth full-length, Here Before, for which preorders begin Aug. 27. It’ll be out a month later — Sept. 27 — through Grand Hand Records, and while there’s no doubt the four-piece are still having a good time, there’s a little bit of a darker edge to the proceedings that shows up as well in the Here Before cover art, which is way closer to Stranger Things than the stonerly hand-drawing of a nonetheless haunted mountain town that adorned 2015’s Backwater (review here). The 11-tracker digs into some of the most atmospheric work they’ve ever done in songs like “Ghost,” “Giant” and “Slipping Under,” which isn’t to mention the ambience bookending the album in intro “Aurora” and outro “Afterglow,” but even “Giving in to Fun” seems to hold some measure of aggression.

You can hear the premiere of “Slipping Under” at the bottom of this post, and drummer Brett Whittingham offered some comment on the track to coincide with the unveiling of it and the album art and details, as well as tour dates for after the release.

Enjoy:

chron goblin here before

Brett Whittingham on “Slipping Under”:

Slipping Under is one of the more complex arrangements on the album. It starts off with a dark n’ dreamy clean intro, experimenting with some electronic drums and a leslie speaker for the guitar , before it kicks into the heavy bridge and on to the tight n’ groovy verses. The pre-solo section also includes more experimentation with the inclusion of some dirty 808 drops, something we haven’t tried before! This song is a blast to play live with its multitude of changes and dynamics. Mike Fraser mixed this song, along with Ghost, and his take on both tracks added a nice depth and diversity to the album as a whole.

Album Title: Here Before
Release Date: September 27, 2019
Preorders: August 27, 2019
Label: Grand Hand Records

Recorded in July 2018 at Juno Award Winning OCL Studios, ‘Here Before’ is the fourth full-length album from Chron Goblin and will be released and distributed by Grand Hand Records. Produced, recorded and mixed by Josh Rob Gwilliam (Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, Ghosts of Modern Man), Here Before demonstrates a new maturity in songwriting and production for the band. From the propulsive singles of ‘Slipping Under’ and ‘Ghost’; mixed by Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Metallica, Corrosion of Conformity), to the hypnotic riffs of ‘Oblivion’ – Chron Goblin has created an intoxicating collection of rock n’ roll.

Track Listing:
1. Aurora (0:22)
2. Oblivion (4:16)
3. Giving In To Fun (3:37)
4. Out Of My Mind (3:49)
5. Ghost (6:04)
6. War (3:51)
7. Giant (4:40)
8. Slipping Under (4:43)
9. Little Too Late (4:46)
10. Waiting (3:53)
11. Afterglow (1:52)
Album Length: 41:57

Chron Goblin live:
October 10 – Lethbridge – Owl Acoustic Lounge
October 11 – Calgary – The Palomino Smokehouse
October 12 – Regina – The German Club
October 13 – Winnipeg – The Handsome Daughter
October 15 – Sudbury – The Asylum
October 16 – Ottawa – House of Targ
October 17 – Montreal – Turbo Haus
October 18 – Toronto – Hard Luck
October 19 – Windsor – Dominion House
October 25 – Edmonton – Temple

Album Band and Live Line Up: Josh Sandulak (vocals), Brett Whittingham (drums), Richard Hepp (bass), Devin ‘Darty’ Purdy (guitar)

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The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio Playlist: Episode 21

Posted in Radio on August 16th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk show banner

Last time around, I actually managed to post the playlist for The Obelisk Show before Gimme Radio aired it, and I thought that worked pretty well, letting people know what was going to be on and all that. As it stands, I haven’t even had the chance to record the voice breaks yet for this one, but it’ll get done before airtime. Again, lots of new stuff this episode and a lot of it drawn from recent coverage around here, as well as some stuff that will be upcoming, whether it’s V‘s new single or the 20-minute Comacozer track that ends out.

That song and the We Lost the Sea track before it make up the final 35 minutes of the show. I wanted a couple longer tracks this time out, so between those, VMonolordOblivion Reptilian and Hound the Wolves, I feel like we got there. There’s a couple rockers up front with Bison MachineBlackwater Holylight and Lightning Born, but from then on pretty much all bets are off. I never know how that kind of thing will be received by the Gimme listenership, but screw it, I haven’t been fired yet, so I’ll take that for what it tells me. Not much, I suppose.

Dug these songs though. The Lightning BornSleeping Giant and The Black Wizards cuts were standouts from their respective albums, and the new Goatess single was just premiered elsewhere, but I’ll be covering the album too, so wanted to give that a chance to shine here. And a little bit of Crowbar seemed appropriate as I’ve already seen them once this month and plan to do so again before the month is out. Some bands you just can’t get enough.

Thanks for checking it out if you get the chance.

Here’s the full playlist:

The Obelisk Show – 08.16.19

Bison Machine The Tower Seas of Titan*
Blackwater Holylight Motorcycle Veils of Winter*
Lightning Born Salvation Lightning Born*
BREAK
The Black Wizards Kaleidoscope Eyes Reflections*
Sleeping Giant Serpent Sleeping Giant*
Oblivion Reptilian Alien Shit Fried on Rock*
Hound the Wolves Godhead Split with Glasghote*
BREAK
Crowbar All I Had I Gave Crowbar (1993)
Monolord The Bastard Son No Comfort*
V Phantasmagoria Led into Exile*
Goatess Dunerider Blood and Wine*
BREAK
We Lost the Sea Towers Triumph & Disaster*
Comacozer Kykeneon Journey Mydriasis*

The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio airs every other Friday at 1PM Eastern, with replays every Sunday at 7PM Eastern. Next show is Aug. 30. Thanks for listening if you do.

Gimme Radio website

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Pinewalker Premiere “Sentinel”; Migration out Sept. 6

Posted in audiObelisk on August 15th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

PINEWALKER Photo by Carly Page

Thrice-guitarred Salt Lake City riff metal five-piece Pinewalker will issue their debut full-length, Migration, on Sept. 6. It is an album that makes its mission plain from the moment opener “Sentinel” reworks the signature riff of Sleep‘s “Dragonaut” and later taps into Goatsnake during its apex, and the brazen manner in which it goes about bringing together metallic aggression with stoner and doom influences — even a bit of post-metal ambience at the start of sprawling nine-minute album centerpiece “Maelstrom” — only underlines that as their ultimate stylistic aim. Formed in 2014 under the moniker Yeti and with a 2016 EP, Wasteland, to their credit under that name, Pinewalker burl their way through seven tracks and 43 minutes on Migration, alternating between a song like “Bone Collector,” which draws a line between extreme metal thrust — something “Burning Earth” soon brings even more forward — and Sabbathian shuffle in a kind of Entombed-via-Rocky-Mountains revamp, and longer form pieces like “Maelstrom,” the subsequent instrumental roller “Space Witch” and closer “The Thaw,” the latter two of which top eight minutes as the record moves through its second half.

The purposeful-seeming impression there is that the further you go, the more there is to find. Pinewalker — guitarist/vocalists Tarran MeadJason Kennington and Sam Roe, bassist Ethan Jentzch and drummer Nate Perkins — insert “Self vs. Self” PINEWALKER migrationbetween the last two longer cuts as the penultimate track to return to some of the more grounded metal fare of “Bone Collector,” finding room for some Maiden-style guitar histrionics along the way, but the prevailing spirit of Migration is in the overarching blend that unites the broader and more directly-punishing material. Melody is engaged most of all in “The Thaw,” the central riff of which seems to reinvent Neurosis‘ “Given to the Rising” before offsetting it with post-rocking airiness in the verse, but the death-doom stomp that emerges, soaring leads that take hold, and willfully over-the-top crescendo that follow are hardly the work of a band simply looking to ape their influences. Rather, the relief that “The Thaw” seems to find in relation to the rest of the record is all the more palpable for the individualized stamp they put on it.

And that that is the final impression Migration gives — aided in no small part by the production of Andy Patterson (SubRosaDØNE, many more) — speaks to the successful realization of the aesthetic meld that’s at the core of the record. They play heavy, they play metal, and sure enough, it works. And whether they’re bludgeoning their way through “Burning Earth” or hinting at a more progressive future in the tense buildup in the early going of “Maelstrom,” the simple fact that they’re able to execute their ideas with such clearheaded certainty is emblematic of the achievement they’re making as they emerge from their mountainous bailiwick. They run the risk over the longer term of falling into a place between — too aggro for the rockers, but more rock than the headbangers can fully embrace — but they have several advantages on their side in things like the potential their songwriting shows here and their relative youth, and as positioned as they seem to be for future growth, Pinewalker leave one with a resounding sense of hope for what might come as well as a black eye from what has already manifested in these tracks. Go on tour, gentlemen. Go on tour and don’t look back.

They’ll play the release show for Migration on Sept. 13 at Urban Lounge in Salt Lake City, and I’m happy today to host the track premiere of “Sentinel” below for your streaming pleasure. Album preorders are up on Bandcamp.

Please enjoy:

Pinewalker on “Sentinel”:

Sentinel was a tricky beast for us at first. We had a lot of ideas that we wanted to play around with and it took a lot of our attention during the writing process, but we are super happy with how it turned out. Thematically, this is the starting point of the record. This is where we are introduced to the character that we follow through the rest of the music. To us, the song tries to capture the fear of the unknown with a power that emanates anger. We like old monster movies a lot, and thought about their cinematography and design while coming up with this song as kind of our main theme for our monster.

Salt Lake City, Utah-based quintet PINEWALKER is preparing to release their sprawling debut album, Migration. Completed for release in early September, the album boasts a cathartic concept, an homage to loved ones lost to cancer, delivered through a crushing display of thundering, groove-heavy doom/sludge metal.

The five members of PINEWALKER all met and began playing together in high school and have grown tighter as a group ever since. Now in their fifth year since inception, the band has solidified and honed their own approach to performing the music they love.

With forty-four minutes of music spanning seven expansive tracks, Migration was recorded, mixed and mastered by Andy Patterson at his The Boars Nest in Salt Lake City (Subrosa, Gaza, Theories), and completed with artwork by Charles Bogus and design by Ashley Fairbourne.

PINEWALKER will self-release Migration on digital formats on September 6th with a CD version to follow.

PINEWALKER Live:
9/13/2019 Urban Lounge – Salt Lake City, UT *Migration release show

PINEWALKER:
Nate Perkins – drums
Tarran Mead – guitar/vocals
Jason Kennington – guitar/vocals
Sam Roe – lead guitar/vocals
Ethan Jentzsch – bass

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Pinewalker on Instagram

Pinewalker on Bandcamp

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Stream Rehearsal Jam from Gaster, Morton, Papadopoulos; Members of Clutch, Lamb of God & Stinking Lizaveta

Posted in audiObelisk on August 14th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

yanni mark morton jp gaster

About two months ago, I was lucky enough to stream a jam-room recording from Stinking Lizaveta called ‘The Odor of Corruption’ (posted here) after being hit up by the Philly-based doom jazz trio’s founding guitarist, Yanni Papadopoulos. Late last week, another note came in from Papadopoulos — did I want to hear a jam he played bass on with Jean-Paul Gaster of Clutch drumming and Mark Morton from Lamb of God on guitar?

Easy question.

The jam from what’s being called Gaster, Morton, Papadopoulos was hosted by the drummer in Frederick, Maryland — where else? — and has been dubbed “Blues to Infinity,” which about sums up the vibe. Morton, who released the solo album Anasthetic earlier this year, leads the way on guitar through the easy-flowing sub-four-minute snippet, starting off with a bluesy bounce over Gaster‘s groove, while Papadopoulos helps drive the subtle linear build even as he anchors the central progression beneath the guitar solo to come. If that level of blues hits infinite anywhere in the song — let me get my tape measure — it’s in that solo, but the the way jam kind of sways into its crescendo afterward is where it’s at one way or the other, and even after the guitar cuts out, the drums and bass seem ready to keep the vibe going in case there’s another pickup.

Doesn’t happen this time, but something tells me this might not be the only time we hear from Gaster, Morton, Papadopoulos. True enough that their schedules aren’t exactly empty as it is, but if this is the kind of work they’re doing off-the-cuff whenever their respective planets happen to align, there’s simply too much chemistry and too much potential here to leave it alone. And I mean, you know, if they wanted to send some jams off to Per Wiberg to put some keys on there too, I wouldn’t complain. Just a thought.

Whether or not that actually happens, here’s hoping for more from these three.

Enjoy the jam. Some quick comment from Morton follows:

Mark Morton on “Blues to Infinity”:

“There’s totally a cool anxious tightrope feel… like it could fall apart at any second but never does. My lead sounds frustrated and hurt… because I was. This is a real one for sure.”

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