Sorge Stream Self-Titled EP in Full

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on June 3rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

SORGE (Photo by Matt Carter)

Washington D.C. newcomers Improve the your manuscript's chance of publication with Wiley English http://www.naur-sir.dk/?making-a-business-plan-for-a-new-business. Your work will be paired with an experienced editor who specializes Sorge are set to self-release their self-titled debut EP on Friday, and when it comes right to it, one of the most exciting aspects of the 27-minute four-tracker is how settled it isn’t. From the http://futablog.com/thesis-editing-services-in-malaysia/ UK becomes the first choice of students to get help for custom academic paper writing services. Buy assignment paper is discount rates. Danzig-ian wails, theatrical synth and rolling sludge riffs of opener “Faith of a Heretic” onward, the five-piece troupe seem to actively work to defy the conventions of microgenre, instead honing a sound that is both aggressive and thoughtful, but without the pretense inherent in so much prog-tinged modern heavy. “Faith of a Heretic” and “A Horse in Turin,” as well as the low-end-distortion highlight “Argent” and the driving finisher “Astral Burnout” are all marked by plotted guitar leads that underscore the band’s surprising level of self-awareness in terms of their methodology — this is not a group haphazardly tossing elements together and seeing what sticks — and the complexity of the progressions surrounding those solos, instrumentally and vocally, draws from an array of sources. It’s not a shock to learn there are multiple creative forces in the band, or that they have some measure of variety in their own personal tastes, but List Of Term Paper Topics Are The New Thing. Thanks to the hyper-connectivity that the internet affords, we were able to create a product to fill an Sorge‘s best research paper websites College Very Cheap Dissertation Writtig Service Uc people helping people credit union essay what can i do my essay on Sorge makes all the more of an impression because of their refusal to let anything dominate their sound so much as their individualist impulses and concurrent tonal heft.

Two guitars — Joshua Gerras (also vocals) and Logan Boucher (leads) — plus phd thesis proofreading uk How To Write A College Admissions Letter consumer behavior term paper term paper about overpopulation Christian Pandtle on bass, Our gallery of over 500+ free business plan look for a business plan thatís for a business that operates of Your hop over to here Jake Filderman on synth and Great Dissertation Survey Analysis are here for you! We are ready to offer you professional writers who will do their best to help you with creating a perfect PhD Mike Romadka on drums, and as they push into “A Horse in Turin” they sound like some futuristic vision of traditionalist doom, not quite catchy, but not quite not-memorable either, and the wash they bring to bear in the song’s midsection isn’t to be missed, either for its flourish of drama or the Sorge sorgesheer depth of its mix, solidifying around a lumbering riff before bursting forth once more, this time shifting into all-out blastbeating as though to further demonstrate their lack of constriction. “Argent” and “Astral Burnout” are shorter (the EP runs longes-to-shortest), but not my much, and the unbridled atmosphere of the first two cuts continues to hold sway across the churning severity surrounding the crashes late in the proceedings, squibbly soloing seeming to wink at more extreme metal even as laserz-yes-with-a-‘z’ synth accompany. More pummel awaits in “Astral Burnout,” but there’s a hint of melodic fluidity to come there as well — “Faith of a Heretic” had it too, for that matter — that speaks to the angle of growth Buy an essay that is written especially for you when you need it. Thatís why we enable you to http://opt-karp.ru/?buy-an-essay-papers from us and still get high quality Sorge might be looking to undertake over the longer term. If they’re the kind of band who are going to look to tour when/if such things are possible, they’ll likely get there that much faster.

They’re young, or at least young-ish, and sound it. There’s patience to be learned in their craft, but in the meantime, I’ll happily take the swinging finish of “Astral Burnout” and the overarching groove that seems to draw the different pieces of the song together into one entirety. Again, Media in category "Can I Do My Homework On A Tablet" The following 6 files are in this category, out of 6 total. Sorge‘s first release isn’t one that finds them declaring outright the rigid parameters of their sound, but rather, the place from which their scope will spread outward, and already they have a significant breadth at their disposal. As to which direction their work might ultimately take, I won’t hazard a guess onto to feel silly later, but for what it’s worth, they show an impressive level of command in their songwriting for a band both new and stylistically varied, and their forward potential only makes this EP more exciting to hear in the present.

You’ll find the four tracks streaming in their entirety below, followed by comment from the band.

Please enjoy:

Sorge on Self-Titled EP:

We’re rather proud of this as our debut release. It took us a little bit to find our feet together and start playing shows, but we all were friends before this so it was a blast playing together. The patience certainly paid off as our collective nerves couldn’t handle bombing a show. Best to practice in a smokey basement for two years, huh?

These songs were written collaboratively during that time, thus allowing us all to infuse our individual inspirations. Josh comes from more of a punk background, where I‚Äôve always been into extreme metal. I also make electronic music as a solo artist, as does Jake. Logan was into shredding and technical stuff in high school. Heavy music was Mike‚Äôs first love, but he‚Äôs also dabbled in more genres than we can list. I find this interesting because it has been an eventful few years, all of us have changed as people throughout our writing and recording process. These songs, especially Faith of a Heretic and a Horse in Turin, are thus time capsule of sorts, capturing our collective feelings and imaginations from the time. We wanted to draw from our diverse influences while making fucking heavy music and are pleased enough with the results. We’re all our worst critics and when you’ve been drilling and writing for a few years it’s easy for those narratives to become the dominant ones in your head. We’ve been blown away by the initial reception and are so appreciative that people are getting what we’re putting down.

Recording the EP was a real trip. We’re pretty DIY but after self recording/mixing a two song demo we realized that we’re serious enough to be working with professionals. Mike and I were frankly kinda shocked when Kevin from Developing Nations got back to us, some of our favorite albums of the last few years were recorded there (e.g. Ilsa’s Corpse Fortress and Outer Heaven’s Realms of Eternal Decay). That being said, recording is expensive and we’re a bunch of young dudes so we ended up recording the whole thing in four days over two weekends without a click. Most stuff had to get done in one or two takes. That experience really solidified what we had already been screaming at each other for years: don’t waste a moment of your audience’s attention. We’ve written a ton since then and are extremely keen to get back on the road and in the studio when it’s safe to do so.

Joshua and I come from a background in western philosophy and were feeling adrift and depressed when we started this project. We kinda just started writing riffs together and before long had brought Mike, Logan, and Jake into the fold. I think we all realized on some level that doing something creative as a group is better than doing nothing at all and we were able to use that insight along with constant self-criticism to create something that we hope is more than the sum of its parts. We wanted to capture the urgency of living, that sense of restlessness that lives even in the most peaceful of hearts.

We’re at an interesting point in history and we couldn’t not express the low key, yet productive, angst that typifies our generation. We and especially those younger were born atomized and are conditioned to believe it’s the only way to live. Much our initial work into Sorge was driven by a need to prove to ourselves that disconnection is not the only way of living. Sorge is a German word meaning “care, or concern” and can refer to that fundamental concern we have for all beings, and thus for ourselves.

SORGE will independently release Sorge digitally on Friday, June 5th, with a physical release to follow. Find digital preorders at Bandcamp HERE.

SORGE:
Christian Pandtle – bass
Joshua Gerras – guitars, vocals
Mike Romadka – drums
Logan Boucher – lead guitars
Jake Filderman – synths

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Review & Lyric Video Premiere: Pale Divine, Consequence of Time

Posted in Bootleg Theater, Reviews on June 3rd, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Pale Divine Consequence of Time

[Click play above to see the premiere of Pale Divine’s lyric video for ‘Saints of Fire.’ Consequence of Time is out June 26 and available to preorder from Cruz Del Sur: CD preorder, LP preorder w/ poster & download, digital release June 19.]

Even among American traditionalist doom — which as a whole is underrated — there aren’t many who reach the same echelons in that regard as¬† http://ekovalevsky.com/?top-essay-service, Have your thesis or. corrections and to return my document back in a timely fashion. I was very pleased with their service and Pale Divine. Also their debut release for¬† http://meteo.geo.auth.gr/?write-essay-about-my-life Custom Papers For College - Title Ebooks : Custom Papers For College - Category : Kindle and eBooks PDF - Author : ~ unidentified Cruz Del Sur Music,¬† Not to fear, the professionals at how to write an english papers are here to help you take back control of your academic success! Welcome to BEW Consequence of Time is their sixth full-length, and as it arrives just two years after 2018’s self-titled LP (review here), it also marks the quickest time differential the Chesapeake-region group — Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware — have ever had between two offerings.¬† dna replication research paperss.Write my paper apa style.2co Comeducators 877 294 0273 Oh.Write my paper for.Buy literary analysis essay Pale Divine, the record, was notable for marking the first appearance of¬† follow link - begin working on your report right away with qualified assistance guaranteed by the service All sorts of academic writings & custom Ron “Fezz” McGinnis on bass and backing vocals, who brought the five-string acumen he’d demonstrated in which sites can i pay to have my homework done Essay On Their Eyes Were Watching God Review essay writers for pay research methodology proposal Admiral Browning and countless others to the classic-style rolling riffs and searing leads of guitarist Greg Diener (also vocals) and the ever-steady, never-flashy, always-efficient drumming of¬†Darin McCloskey. On the eight-song/42-minute¬†Consequence of Time, there is another significant change in the band’s makeup.

Even as they were releasing the self-titled,¬†Pale Divine announced the addition of¬†Dana Ortt on guitar and vocals alongside¬†Diener, a shift that was essentially a merging between¬†Pale Divine and the¬†Ortt-led¬†Beelzefuzz, in which¬†Diener and¬†McCloskey had both been members. The end result is that between¬†Diener,¬†Ortt and¬†McGinnis,¬†Pale Divine now have three vocalists capable of carrying a song on their own, whether it’s¬†Diener‘s metal-tinged proclamations,¬†Ortt‘s bizarro-prog otherworldliness, complemented by his nuance of guitar tone, or¬†McGinnis with his lower register bluesy take. Unsurprisingly,¬†Consequence of Time is easily the most diverse album¬†Pale Divine have ever made, and perhaps also the richest in terms of its general approach, since the influences especially of its two guitarists are readily on display, whether it’s in the¬†Beelzefuzzian chug and dreamstate lumber of “Phantasmagoria” or in¬†Diener‘s veritable clinic on how to shred a solo and still give a sense of soul in the process.

It bears underscoring just how significant of a turn¬†Consequence of Time is for¬†Pale Divine. The band mark their 25th anniversary in 2020, having begun with¬†McCloskey and¬†Diener in 1995 before releasing their first demo a couple years later. It seems to me not just a marked change in terms of the band’s sound that welcoming¬†Ortt has enacted, but a genuinely admirable openness on the part of¬†Diener. Yes, there’s “sharing the spotlight,” as much as such a thing exists in a genre where one might be inclined in the first sentence of a review to point out how underrated it is, but more than that, to have the ability after some 20 years of having the band as a vehicle for his songwriting to be able to adjust the entire process in such a way is staggering.

pale divine

Ortt doesn’t just sing backup on¬†Consequence of Time, and he makes a mark in terms of the overall style of riffs and tones as well on songs like “Broken Martyr,” “Satan in Starlight,” and even the¬†Diener-led opener “Tyrants/Pawns (Easy Prey).” It’s a rare band and a rare player who would allow that kind of shift to take place at any point, let alone after 20 years, and¬†Pale Divine are unquestionably stronger for it. The patience¬†in the 10-minute unfolding of the 10-minute title-track alone is proof of the subtle level on which the change can be felt, a melding of purpose between what¬†Beelzefuzz were by their finish and the roots-doom mindset that Pale Divine have always portrayed so well.

Perhaps it’s sharing vocal duties that has allowed¬†Diener‘s guitar to shine all the more, but his leads soar throughout¬†Consequence of Time in striking fashion, and with McGinnis‘ bass and¬†McCloskey‘s drums behind, there’s never any risk of the band losing their trajectory whatsoever. As the title-track approaches the halfway mark,¬†Diener and¬†Ortt share vocals against a stark and largely quiet backdrop ahead of the next classic metal lead (it might be¬†Ortt‘s, I can’t be sure), but that moment sums up the incredible, throw-the-doors-open spirit of¬†Consequence of Time. Ortt takes the fore later, and¬†Diener rejoins and the two guitars lock purposes in solos and riffs to close out, but in that moment, not only the change of the band’s sound, but the creative spirit that drove that change are palpable. The risk and the reward both are right there for the listener to absorb.

The subsequent closing pair “No Escape” and “Saints of Fire” would seem to be an epilogue of sorts, or at least a movement unto themselves after the title-track, but their purpose isn’t lost for existing in the shadow of the 10-minute cut preceding. In the speedy “No Escape,”¬†Diener fronts, and they trade for “Saints of Fire,” and it’s a last-minute showcase of the multifaceted nature of who¬†Pale Divine are in 2020 and what they can accomplish as a group in this new form. “No Escape” gallops in brash form and is probably the most fun I’ve ever heard¬†Pale Divine have on a record, and “Saints of Fire” pushes in its second half into a quirky dark gorgeousness that feels like pure inheritance from¬†Beelzefuzz put to righteous use.¬†Pale Divine, the power-trio turned four-piece after 20-some years, march their way out of¬†Consequence of Time and into an unknowable future as a stronger, more versatile and more vibrant unit.

The band they were is still very much present in their sound, and they remain as sonically committed to doom as they’ve ever been, but the foundation of influence has expanded and their craft is all the more affecting and progressive for it. Between the quick turnaround, the new label and the new construction, Pale Divine move into their second quarter-century with an almost impossible feeling of potential, and one can only look forward to what they might yet accomplish as they move on from here. 25 years on and reaching new heights. That is a special band, and yes, vastly underrated. They may stay that way and they may not, but one way or the other,¬†Consequence of Time¬†will stand as one of 2020’s foremost offerings in doom, and deservedly so.

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

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

√ėresund Space Collective Sonic Rock Solstice 2019

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

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

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

sonic rock solstice 2019 poster

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

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

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

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Album Review: Göden, Beyond Darkness

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

goden beyond darkness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Göden, Beyond Darkness (2020)

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Album Review: Black Rainbows, Cosmic Ritual Supertrip

Posted in Reviews on May 26th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

black rainbows Cosmic Ritual Supertrip

This is a band who know what works. Some 13 years on from their debut album,¬†Twilight in the Desert, and working as a flagship act for frontman¬†Gabriele Fiori‘s¬†Heavy Psych Sounds label as well as spearheads of Italy’s jam-packed underground, Roman trio¬†Black Rainbows have every sense of who they are as a unit and where they want to be in terms of their sound. And even as¬†Fiori¬†has split his focus with the label, a festival series of the same name, and with other projects like¬†Killer Boogie and¬†The Pilgrim, the mission of Black Rainbows¬†has remained consistent: To embody the sound of riding a motorcycle made of fuzz riffs through space on a desert interstate to hell.

Cosmic Ritual Supertrip is the seventh or eighth Black Rainbows full-length depending on how you count, and like 2018’s Pandaemonium (review here), it was recorded with Fabio Sforza. Tracked over a period of three days at¬†Forward Studios in Rome, it finds¬†Fiori as the lone remaining original member of the band joined by the rhythm section of returning drummer Filippo Ragazzoni¬†and newcomer bassist Edoardo “Mancio” Mancini, who steps in for Giuseppe Guglielmino. The shifts in lineup around Fiori aren’t necessarily anything new for Black Rainbows, and as noted, who’s where around him ultimately factors little into the band’s purpose. That’s not to take away from anyone else’s personality or playing style — there are certainly changes in the band’s dynamic that have emerged over time as well as an evolution of songwriting that hits its high water mark here — but there’s little question whose band Black Rainbows is.

Past efforts from¬†Black Rainbows have pounded away through space rock, psychedelia, classic stoner idolatry — Nebula have always been a crucial influence — and jammy freakouts, and¬†Cosmic Ritual Supertrip brings a mix of all of the above, but mostly what comes through the 12-track/49-minute long-player (the vinyl leaves off two songs) is the underlying strength of craft.¬†Fiori,¬†Ragazzoni and¬†Mancini weave and wind their way through these varying styles and elements, working at a range of tempos within and between songs, but whether it’s the scorching layered soloing at the apex of “Hypnotized by the Solenoid” or the pure stoner-is-as-stoner-does-ism of the earlier “Radio 666,” there is a distinct energy and vitality to the work that is singularly¬†Black Rainbows‘ own.

The album practically starts at a sprint with “At Midnight You Cry” and even a subdued moment like the two-minute drifter “The Great Design” is followed up by “Master Rocket Power Blast,” which — if it even needs to be said — hits like it’s been huffing paint thinner for three weeks straight and decided now was a good time to try skydiving. What’s come to the fore over time in¬†Black Rainbows‘ let-it-fly-off-the-rails approach, however, is just how much it actually doesn’t fly off those rails. It was true to an extent on¬†Pandaemonium and 2016‚Äôs¬†Stellar Prophecy¬†(review here) and 2015‚Äôs¬†Hawkdope¬†(review here) as well, but never more than it is now, that there is a plan being followed in the material. The title Cosmic Ritual Supertrip¬†sounds like pure druggy nonsense, but that’s the idea too. The record, the band, and the songs — they’re all supposed to be the vehicle of the pure, out-of-your-mind escapism that is relishing volume, weight, and presence in heavy music. The medium is the message.

black rainbows

Where Black Rainbows bring a shift in approach into play is the focus on songs.¬†Cosmic Ritual Supertrip flows suitably as a full-length release — the vinyl edition drops the last two tracks of the CD, “Searching for Satellites I & II” and “Fire Breather,” bringing the runtime to about 40 minutes even — but it’s the manner on which individual tracks stand out that would seem to distinguish this latest work from its recent predecessors. A normally hard-touring unit,¬†Black Rainbows are no strangers to engaging an audience, and whether it’s the initial salvo of “At Midnight You Cry,” the desert-rolling “Universal Phase,” “Radio 666” and the hotshot swing of “Isolation” ahead of “Hypnotized by the Solenoid,” or later pieces like the lead-and-crash-soaked “Snowball,” “Glittereyzed” with its mashed-together space and gallop impulses, or the almost¬†chunky-style turns of “Sacred Graal” —¬†Deliverance-era¬†C.O.C. come to mind — there’s a sense that even when¬†Cosmic Ritual Supertrip is at its most sonically sprawling, the songs aren’t wasting a second of their time or yours.

I don’t know if it’s right to call it urgency, though it can be intense at times and¬†Black Rainbows have bordered on speed-rocking mania in the past, but these songs maintain the electric current so key to the band’s collective persona even as they feel particularly hammered out and worked through. They’re not overthought, but it’s as though¬†Fiori and company went into the process of making¬†Cosmic Ritual Supertrip with the goal of having the individual tracks each do as much work as possible. And they do, from front to back. Be it the sharp turns from “Hypnotized by the Solenoid” into “The Great Design” into “Master Rocket Power Blast” or the¬†Monster Magnet-y keys and effects laced throughout “Searching for Satellites I & II” or the samples from 1957’s¬†The Giant Claw about seeing a giant bird as a harbinger of death in “Fire Breather” as the band conjure one last rush, each piece finds a way to leave an impression, and because of that, the album as a whole does as well.

It’s not a case where Black Rainbows have undergone a radical shift in approach. Their sound will be easily recognizable for anyone who took on Pandaemonium, etc., but Cosmic Ritual Supertrip proves their mastery of their approach on a new level by seeing them use songwriting in a different way. They’ve released collections of songs before, and they’ve released albums that have cohered like single long-form works as well, but never quite with as much purpose behind doing so as¬†Cosmic Ritual Supertrip has in how it gives each inclusion its moment in the spotlight. As¬†Black Rainbows continue through this stage of their maturity — and 13 years and seven or eight records on, “maturity” seems like a fair word — that they’re still working in different modes of expression as a unit, and seeming to control it more than ever before, could hardly be more encouraging. The possibilities become endless.

Black Rainbows, Cosmic Ritual Supertrip (2020)

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Review & Track Premiere: Lamp of the Universe, Dead Shrine

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 25th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Lamp of the Universe Dead Shrine

[Click play above to stream ‘The Eastern Run’ by Lamp of the Universe. Dead Shrine is out June 22 through Projection Records.]

For over 20 years, New Zealand’s Lamp of the Universe have explored inner and outer cosmoses with tantric and meditative acid folk, veering into and out of and beyond psychedelic and space rock, drone and Eastern-influenced arrangements at the behest of lone multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Craig Williamson. Williamson‘s long-running one-man outfit has veered into and out of primary focus over the years as Williamson has contributed to and/or led other bands like the long-defunct-and-still-underrated Datura or the ongoing Arc of Ascent, who were last heard from on a 2018 split with Zone Six (review here). Lamp of the Universe, though, has been otherworldly in its consistency, and at this point it’s a mode of expression Williamson has lived with for more than 20 years. Think about that.

Dead Shrine is the 12th Lamp of the Universe full-length, and it follows behind last year’s Align in the Fourth Dimension (review here) in unveiling five cuts across a vinyl-ready 41 minutes that run the gamut from the intimate, minimally-percussed mantras of “Illuminations for the Divine” reminiscent of the project’s earlier work, to fuller-band-sounding, drum-and-howling-solo affairs like the still-languid-flowing “Seance in Parallels,” Williamson seeming to move into side B of the release with a vibrant sense of freedom in the creation.

If it ever had to be earned — and I’m not sure it did — he’s long since earned that freedom through his compositions, which retain signatures like organic sitar drone even as they introduce Mellotron and other synthesizer melodies, with Williamson‘s airy echoes acting as the lone human presence in this great swirling ether he’s made. From opener “The Eastern Run,”¬†Williamson¬†sends signals of intent toward a sonic richness this time around, and just as the album’s mandala-style artwork follows a pattern that continues from¬†2016‚Äôs¬†Hidden Knowledge¬†(review here), veered off for 2015’s The Inner Light of Revelation¬†(review here) but seemed to begin with 2013’s Transcendence¬†(review here) — ever prolific,¬†Williamson also released splits with¬†Trip Hill¬†and¬†Krautzone¬†(review here) in 2014 — so too does¬†Dead Shrine walk a trail laid out for it by prior offerings.

Organ plays a heavy role in “The Eastern Run,” and¬†Williamson‘s layered vocals do well to cut through in terms of presence, but the layer of low-end buzz reminds as well of his bass work in¬†Arc of Ascent. Effects loop and swirl as the final guitar solo takes hold and the song marches on a straightforward drum progression toward its finish, complex in its arrangement but easy to follow and accessible in the true nature of folk music in no small part thanks to that use of drums. I won’t take away from¬†Lamp of the Universe‘s effectiveness in moments of pure float, or the psychedelic minimalism brought to bear periodically throughout the project’s catalog, but one neither can nor should argue pairing electric guitar and a drum set is a bad idea at this point. The subsequent “Beams of Ra” also puts keys prominent, but pushes the drums deeper into the mix, allowing the vocals more space to lead the melody of the piece, which is a subtle but engaging shift and the track works out to be all the more hypnotic for it, churning in molten fashion throughout a relatively tidy six-plus minutes of willful repetition and a low-key highlight guitar solo, ascending even as the rhythm line it tops peppers it with looped notes and the keyboard coincides.

LAMP OF THE UNIVERSE

It’s not quite a wash leading back into the verse, but the spirit is meditative in a way that is very much¬†Lamp of the Universe‘s own, and though¬†Williamson is known to be well-versed in psychedelic obscurities, I’ve yet to encounter another artist who conjures worlds in such a fashion. “Beams of Ra” fades and shifts into “Illuminations for the Divine” with a sitar drone and a wisp of flute, guitar setting the rhythm before hand-percussion joins in behind, a cymbal wash leading into the first verse. It will follow a linear pattern, but the build remains understated — some harder strumming and the aforementioned Mellotron serving as the apex and doing well at it. The song and the mood don’t require anything else, and the restraint is only to¬†Williamson‘s credit; a moment perhaps that showcases the maturity of the outfit as side A rounds out.

“Seance in Parallels” (9:47) and “Symbols” (10:12) are the two longest tracks on the record. They make up the entirety of the second side of the LP edition and they serve as the closing duo. They are, accordingly, a masterclass in psychedelic formation. Not only do both pieces draw from¬†Williamson‘s folk explorations of yore, but from the spacious tonal largesse he’s brought forth in¬†Arc of Ascent¬†as well, and the introduction and disappearance of various elements and layers throughout “Seance in Parallels” is thrilling — swells of guitar rise and recede over a steady drum beat, a drone holds sway until it doesn’t — the whole thing is geared toward trance, and in an open and vast midsection,¬†Williamson‘s voice rings out over an unseen landscape of various hues that may or may not be discernible to the human eye, chimes and sitar leading back into the central march and then returning at the end with a chant-like feel over top.

Organ, acoustic and electric guitar, vocals, drums and fuzz-as-its-own-instrument make “Symbols” a fitting summation of¬†Dead Shrine as a whole, a capital-‘r’ Riff arriving after dream-toned noodling just as the song hits the 4:20 mark — must be coincidence — that feels like a call-to-worship for an entirely different kind of ceremony. The drums and vocals resume and eventually the keys in a kind of choral proceeding behind a swirling electric guitar solo that comes through like¬†Earthless played at half-speed. By which I mean glorious. It is ultimately the organ and acoustic guitar that finish the track and the album on a fade, as¬†Williamson — no doubt already set to move on to the next recording, the next batch of songs, the next¬†thing, whatever it might be — reminds in those final moments of the soul and natural purpose at root in his work in¬†Lamp of the Universe. I’ll cop readily to being a fan of¬†Lamp of the Universe and¬†Williamson‘s other projects; no shame there. Still, as recognizable as¬†Lamp of the Universe¬†is, it’s all the more striking how the project continues to evolve in sound and scope.¬†Dead Shrine may get a follow-up next year and it may not, but one way or another, it can and should be seen as a step along a path that only leads ever forward.

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Album Review: Geezer, Groovy

Posted in Reviews on May 18th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Geezer Groovy

They throw it down immediately. The question is right there, track one, in the hook: Can you dig it? While the lyrics that accompany that central question in the opener of Geezer‘s fifth full-length and first for Heavy Psych Sounds, titled simply Groovy, turn out to be something of a subtle screed against the greedy ravages of capitalism and an urging toward a more communal lifestyle — “We gotta stand and testify/We gotta live for today, yeah” — the question remains, “Can you dig it?”

Well, can you, punk?

If not, it’s not the band’s fault. Groovy is the finest work the Kingston, New York-based three-piece have yet issued, hands down. With guitarist/vocalist Pat Harrington helming as producer with engineering and mixing by Matthew Cullen (assisted by David Daw and Robert Kelly) at Darkworld Studio, the eight-track/45-minute offering to the gods of groove arrives in with a two-sided LP structure that, in normal circumstances could be thought of like a mullet — business up front, party in the back. Except in this case, the business is the party too. So it’s party up front, party in the back, like if Cousin Itt were a record. A hairy undertaking, and one that wholly justifies a blacklight poster for the Ryan Williams cover art. Make it so.

Harrington as the founding member is joined by the returning rhythm section of Richie Touseull, who came aboard in 2015, and drummer/percussionist Steve Markota, who made his first appearance on early 2019‚Äôs¬†Spiral Fires¬†EP (review here), as well as¬†Jeff Mercel, who contributes organ and other keys to midtempo side A closer “Awake” and the title-track that launches side B. The two sides of the album intertwine for sure, as the titular “Groovy” more than earns its tambourine with its ultra good-timey vibe and the earlier second cut “Atlas Electra” follows “Dig” with a more spacious preview of things to come on side B’s spacious cappers “Slide Mountain” and “Black Owl.” But there is a question of balance to both, and while Geezer have never shown so much range in terms of their dynamic between the tightness of their songwriting — “Groovy,” “Dig,” “Awake,” even the beginning stretch of “Atlas Electra” — neither have they shown such a propensity for purpose to their jamming.

That is to say, while both¬†Spiral Fires¬†and the preceding LP, 2017‚Äôs¬†Psychoriffadelia¬†(review here), went all-in on post-Wo Fat heavy blues jam exploration,¬†Groovy redirects. Even its broadest, most open-feeling moments, which surely come in the nine-minute “Black Owl” as the three-piece slowly make their way into a long-fade oblivion of guitar effects,¬†Groovy¬†retains a sense of purpose in terms of substance and aesthetic. “Black Owl” jams out precisely because “Drowning on Empty” could have and didn’t, instead riding its fuzz-coated solo-topped crescendo of layered electric and acoustics, more tambourine and righteous bass to a finish exciting enough to mask the darker emotional undercurrent of its lyrics. Likewise, back on side A, “Dead Soul Scroll” highlights Touseull‘s bass tonality as the guitars trip out, essentially reversing the structure to put its somewhat moodier jam forward while the instrumental solidification hits right around the four-minute mark and carries through the rest of the song’s 5:31 as one of the record’s most satisfying payoffs.

geezer

By toying with structure in this way, adding arrangement details and nuance as they are — percussion elements like that tambourine or the cowbell in “Dig” are used with class and efficiency throughout — and adjusting their focus on songwriting, Geezer showcase the mastery of their sound even as they use that sound in ways they haven’t done to this degree before. One could cite “Dead Soul Scroll” as clear evidence of their progression, but really any track on¬†Groovy makes the case, be it the ending drift in “Slide Mountain” that seems to end by asking, “Is everybody high enough?” (unless I’m hearing wrong), or the sleeper hook in “Awake” — “I’ve seen more than most/But not as much as many/When I’m feeling lost/Here you come to make me smile” — bolstered by the Mercel‘s well-mixed keys as it moves smoothly through its patient and well-controlled tempo; not slow, but no quicker paced than it needs to be.

But while¬†Groovy goes deeper into emotionality than¬†Geezer have been willing to go before — lines like those quoted above from “Awake” and others about drinking contribute to the coinciding depressive strain — the record is remains an upbeat affair in its overarching spirit. It almost has to. You can’t help but groove, what with the bounce-a-quarter shifts between its verses and choruses and the clarity with which it comes to fruition across the two sides, its stretch finally going in “Black Owl” willfully beyond the limits of its own point of no return. Influences remain — Wo Fat have already been mentioned,¬†Brant Bjork is another — but with that has to comes the realization that¬†Geezer have transcended the fervent stylization of their 2013 debut, Electrically Recorded Handmade Heavy Blues¬†(discussed here), and found a path of their own within a sphere that encompasses not only those heavy blues, but psychedelia, classic rock, stoner groove and so on. More than ever on¬†Groovy, they are singly identifiable. Harrington‘s gravelly vocals are a big part of that, but he also demonstrates a more melodic take than could be found either on¬†Psychoriffadelia or their 2016 self-titled (review here), which until now had been the band’s highest achievement in songwriting.

There are two key lessons, takeaways, whatever-you-want-to-call-them, from¬†Groovy. The first is that¬†Geezer have found their way. And in fact, they’ve worked their way toward doing so. Each of their records has built on the last, and even their stopgaps have been effective in constructing the forward line of their progression. So while¬†Groovy stands and testifies its own accomplishments, there’s nothing to say those can’t or won’t be surpassed. The second is that the balance in their sound is something no less fluid to them than their jams themselves. That is, with¬†Groovy,¬†Geezer offer proof of dynamic and live chemistry, but their method for doing so does not hold that their next work will be staid or simply seeking to recapture the same feel. The next party might be even more wild, but as¬†Harrington¬†advises, it’s worth living in the present.¬†This is a moment captured. A crucial one for them. One that is wholly theirs. Can you dig it?

Geezer, Groovy (2020)

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Review & Track Premiere: Comacozer & Vinnum Sabbathi, Here and Beyond Split LP

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 14th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Comacozer Vinnum Sabbathi Here and Beyond

Preorders are up now for¬†Here and Beyond, the new split LP between Sydney, Australia’s¬†Comacozer and Mexico City, Mexico’s¬†Vinnum Sabbathi. Issuing through Tasmanian imprint¬†Psychedelic Salad Records, the release carries just three tracks, comprising¬†Comacozer‘s sprawling 19-minute “Sun of Hyperion” and two companion pieces from¬†Vinnum Sabbathi on side B, “HEX IV: Cassini’s Last Breath” (6:50) and “HEX V: X-15 Research Project” (9:55). If the pairing seems odd on paper given the disparate geography, in context it’s not actually much of a surprise the bands would be aware of each other, considering the international nature of the underground, social media, and bands being listeners as well as creators in a noted style.

That style as it plays out across Here and Beyond is a marked take on instrumental heavy psychedelia with roots in stoner rock jamming and a sense of purpose beyond simply that. Both groups use samples to provide a human voice — for¬†Comacozer, the introductory drift of “Sun of Hyperion” comes accompanied by obscure dialogue about LSD, while¬†Vinnum Sabbathi‘s live-recorded “HEX” tracks are laced with what sounds mission control communications and clips snagged from the public domain. “HEX” is an ongoing series for the trio/four-piece (depends on the show, I think) and these tracks arrive on the heels of their recently-issued Of Theories and Dimensions full-length on¬†Stolen Body Records and a late-2019 live three-songer that featured other “HEX” pieces en route to their stated goal of 16 total.¬†Comacozer, meanwhile, issued their fourth album, Mydriasis (review here), last summer.

It’s noteworthy of course that¬†Vinnum Sabbathi are continuing a series that at this point dates back five years to their 2015 split with¬†Bar de Monjas (review here), because¬†Comacozer are as well. A 10-minute cut called “Helios Hyperion” featured on their 2014¬†Sessions EP and “Sun of Hyperion” — one suspects the use of “sun” there is a play on the horror-genre convention of “son of…” as well as the actual translation of “helios” — revises that formative jam. The central guitar figure, languid and building across the first half of the piece, is roughly the same as that which defined “Helios Hyperion” and if anything the feel of “Sun of Hyperion” is that¬†Comacozer took the demo and fleshed it out across a broader reach.

It still keeps its foundation but uses it to spread itself farther out into the spaciousness and the spaciness of its own making, and is all the more hypnotic for both the reach and depth it conjures along the way. While it was recorded at the same time as¬†Mydriasis, it works entirely as a standalone on side A of¬†Here and Beyond, emphasizing a bit of both sides of the title in a way that¬†Vinnum Sabbathi have no problem answering back with their two inclusions, though for their shorter runtimes, “HEX IV: Cassini’s Last Breath”¬† and “HEX V: X-15 Research Project” are obviously more contained in themselves.

They also utilize samples to a broader degree than did “Sun of Hyperion,” lacing them throughout the proceedings rather than just at the start. “Cassini’s Last Breath” hits its mark — as did the¬†Comacozer track — near its halfway point, and takes off with its full weight accordingly, rolling out a huge-sounding crunch with no hesitation, then recedes as the sample returns with a post-script congratulating the NASA crew on Cassini’s accomplishments. In terms of incorporating the samples and recording live, the timing is exceptional enough that one wonders if the samples weren’t overlaid later, but it’s certainly possible that the band timed it out during the tracking process, whether it was with hand signals or just playing together with headphones on.

As “Cassini’s Last Breath” lolls toward its end, there’s a final push of volume, but it’s just a few hits that fade soon enough, naturally bringing to mind the cut communication from the satellite named in its title. Though the voice describing it sounds remarkably like Keith Carradine, the X-15 was a real research aircraft, meant for high speeds and altitudes, and the sample¬†Vinnum Sabbathi use comes from a documentary clip about it that one can find easily enough on archive.org. There are other voices throughout the piece, but by then the band have launched a flight of their own, lumbering out the progression that defines the piece without looking back. They hold to it well, as¬†Comacozer did to “Sun of Hyperion,” and it’s not until after seven minutes in that they seem willing to meander elsewhere, the drums still anchoring that initial crash that propelled them forward.

But the first finish is a fake-out, as Vinnum Sabbathi surge to life again in the last minute-plus of “HEX V: X-15 Research Project,” with a faster, more urgent burst than¬†Here and Beyond has yet presented in its 39-minute course. They end with a sudden flash of feedback and are gone in a snap — not quite mach six, but it gets the message across.

From the beginning trance induced by¬†Comacozer to that somewhat blindsiding shove from Vinnum Sabbathi,¬†Here and Beyond is a journey that should be familiar enough to the experienced heads who will take it on, but that doesn’t necessarily make it any less enjoyable. As both groups maintain a sense of control over the proceedings — at least as much as they want to — they’re able to bring the listener along with them on their outward course, and whether they’re mourning for Cassini or celebrating the star of another world, their complementary nature comes through in the split in a way that emphasizes the strengths of each. It’s an easy one to dig if you’re up for the digging.

Below, to mark the occasion of preorders going live from¬†Psychedelic Salad, you’ll find the premiere of¬†Comacozer‘s “Sun of Hyperion,” along with the album info and one of the two¬†Vinnum Sabbathi contributions (previously posted).

Please enjoy:

Comacozer, “Sun of Hyperion” official premiere

“Here & Beyond” a split Album between Comacozer (Sydney) and Vinnum Sabbathi (Mexico) coming on May 20th on digital and on vinyl format via Psychedelic Salad Records (Tasmania).

Australian heavy psychedelic space rockers Comacozer are back, this time with a new nineteen-minute journey that continues on from their debut track, ‚ÄėHelios Hyperion‚Äô, written and recorded in 2014. A regular feature of their live shows, ‚ÄėSun of Hyperion‚Äô was recorded at the same time as their last album, ‚ÄėMydriasis‚Äô and therefore sees them operating as a four-piece once again. As is always the case with Comacozer, this track will take you exactly where you need to go, this time in the comfort of your own
home – perfect for the current climate!

These two new tracks from Mexico’s Vinnum Sabbathi form part of the band’s HEX series, from the Base 16 or hexadecimal numeral system. The goal is to write 16 HEX songs in total for split collaborations such as this. Musically-speaking, HEX IV is quite different to the band’s usual approach Рa relatively short song with little distortion Рwhile HEX V sees a return to their classic riffing. Just like every other track in the HEX series, both songs were recorded in a single take, with only samples being added in later.

Pre orders go live on May 14th

1. Sun of Hyperion (Comacozer)
2. HEX IV: Cassini’s Last Breath (VS)
3. HEX V: X-15 Research Project (VS)

Art by Six. D. Six
Mastered by Kent Stump at Crystal Clear Sound

Vinnum Sabbathi, “HEX IV: Cassini’s Last Breath”

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