O.R.B. Set Oct. 6 Release for Naturality

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 15th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

orb

Aussie heavy psych continues to flourish as the Victoria-based trio O.R.B. prepare for the Oct. 6 release of their new album, Naturality, via Castle Face Records. Drifting, buzzing and rolling out dreamscape weirdness, the long-player seems to find them working in the influence of tourmates King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, but whatever avenue they want to take to get around to the garage-jangle and fuzzed-out lead work on “Rainbows End” is cool by me. What matters is they get there and dig into some killer vibes along the way. Not saying I’ve heard the album or anything, but it’s an effective fusion of psychedelic impulses new and old, and the vibe runs as thick as the leadoff riff in almost-centerpiece “Immortal Tortoise,” which is plenty, plenty thick.

The PR wire brings word of headtrips to come:

orb naturality

Announcing new album from Aussie heavy psych-rock trio ORB, ‘Naturality’, on Castle Face Records

An exciting development from under strange Australian lab-lights: O.R.B. have respawned from last year’s BIRTH with a further mutated slab of paranoid heavy shred, Naturality. They bring the dread with a kinetic muscularity and a pleasantly evolving synthetic strangeness, as if having eaten of the wrong part of the garden, familiar things start to seem less so. The effects of these spores on your modern brain, already clogged with a steady drip of zips and zooms, are freshly heard and confusing.

O.R.B. are young and fleet fingered, and certainly know their way around a riff, but they bring everything into an almost alien clarity both blunted and futuristic. O.R.B., you see, have ripened quite radically, one can only think at an accelerated pace upon their travels with King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, and Naturality finds them sprouting new appendages and clawing at their enclosures. This is potent stuff, be careful – it’s out on Castle Face October 6th.

Artist: ORB
Title: Naturality
Label: Castle Face
Format: LP/CD

Release date: 6th October 2017

Tracklist
1. Hazlewart
2. A Man In The Sand
3. You Are Right
4. O.R.B.
5. Immortal Tortoise
6. Motherbrain
7. Flying Sorcerer
8. Rainbows End

https://www.facebook.com/ORB-475112932588695/
https://soundcloud.com/orb-9
https://www.facebook.com/Castle-Face-Records-274495015919012/
https://www.castlefacerecords.com/

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Shepherd Announce Breakup; Discuss New Projects in the Works

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 15th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Yeah, it’s kind of a surprise to hear Bangalore, India-based sludgers Shepherd are hanging it up, considering it was just a month ago they announced a split with Death by Fungi that’s actually out today, Aug. 15. That, obviously, will mark their swansong, and the trio played their last show this past weekend at The Humming Tree in their hometown. It seems like their calling it quits is owed more to the life situation of the three players involved rather than any kind of consuming malice between them, and that’s always a preferred scenario — at least if the alternative is “we fucking hate each other,” which it sometimes can be — and whether or not Shepherd ever wind up getting together to do anything else, at least they go out with a few marked accomplishments to their collective credit.

Chief among those has to be their 2015 debut album, Stereolithic Riffalocalypse (review here). The band signed a deal that same year to issue a vinyl edition through Helmet Lady Records and though that didn’t materialize — not that it’s in any way too late for it to do so — the songs stand up in their heft and in the memorable impression their sludgely ways left behind. Complementary offerings like the demo collection Demolithic Riffalocalypse in 2016 and Garden of Hate: Live Riffalocalypse in 2017 only reaffirmed the impact of the full-length on both the band and their still-growing base of listeners.

The band’s announcement was short and sweet, and I followed up with them to get some further comment on the end of Shepherd and what might come next. Both follow here:

shepherd

SHEPHERD (2011-2017): REST IN RIFFS

Unfortunately, the time has come to lay this old thing to rest once and for all. We’ve done a lot more than we ever thought we would when we started this band. It wouldn’t have been possible without all your support, THANK YOU!

Shepherd on their breakup:

It’s sad that we had to put Shepherd to rest, but right now, it seemed like the best thing to do. The three of us are soon going to be on 3 different continents, and even though it’s not impossible to continue as a studio only project, we figured it was the best time to call it quits. Dee and Namit are pretty much the driving force behind the band and the only remaining original members. When I moved to Sweden, it was not too hard to find some amazing musicians to stand in, but with Namit moving Stateside, it felt that it would be better to just to get the split out and bow out.

We’ve had an amazing experience so far and it’s still a bit of a shocker what we’ve managed to pull off, and it wouldn’t have been possible without everyone’s support. So thank You!

The only thing we regret is not being able to get Stereolithic Riffalocalypse out on vinyl, especially when it was so close to happening. So yeah, apologies to everyone who was waiting to get their hands on it. We were as bummed out as you were when the label deal fell through.

Regarding what the future holds, I’m sure individually, we will all be involved in some musical projects. Dee’s already put out an album with his solo project, The Earth Below, and he’s already busy working on new material, plus he’s got a bunch of other side-projects.

Shepherd was:
Deepak Raghu (Drums/Vocals)
Namit Chauhan (Guitars/Vocals)
Abhishek Michael (Bass/Vocals)

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shepherd/144878495627033
https://twitter.com/ShepherdSludge
https://instagram.com/shepherd.sludge/
https://shepherdrock.bandcamp.com/album/shep-dbf-split

Shepherd, “Agents of Nihil” official video

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Attalla Announce Sept. Tour Dates; Glacial Rule Cassette Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

attalla

Wisconsin’s Attalla will head outward from the frozen wasteland/dairy paradise they call home — depicted via live webcam, one assumes, as the cover art of their new album, Glacial Rule (review here) — next month on a two-week tour. The sludge rocking four-piece make their way toward the East Coast and have gigs set for Rochester and Baltimore with an open Sept. 5 date between that seems like it would be perfect for some generous soul in the New York or Philly area to put something together for. I don’t know who that generous soul might be, but yeah, somebody should get on it, because these guys are good and deserve a gig every night they want one.

In addition to these dates, Attalla took part this past weekend in the opening night of Sheavy‘s ‘Tour of the Doomed’ (info here) alongside those Canadian stalwarts, Apostle of SolitudeThe Skull and many others, and Glacial Rule has just been pressed to tape via Shadow Kingdom, which also got behind Attalla‘s self-titled debut (review here) in 2014. The band sent dates and more info down the PR wire:

attalla tour dates 2017

ATTALLA – September tour and cassette tape release

Wisconsin heavy riff rockers, ATTALLA, head back out on the road this September in support of their latest fuzzed out offering, ‘Glacial Rule’. Cruising through some of the same cities leveled on their last east coast tour and ripping up some Midwest clubs on the route as well.

The highly praised ‘Glacial Rule’ has recently been released on limited edition cassette tape by Shadow Kingdom Records and a 2nd pressing of vinyl is also smoldering on the horizon.

ATTALLA – GLACIAL RULE TOUR 2017
9/01/2017 – Detroit, MI – Corktown Tavern
9/02/2017 – Columbus, OH – Victory’s Live
9/03/2017 – Buffalo, NY – Mohawk Place
9/04/2017 – Rochester, NY – Bug Jar
9/05/2017 – TBA
9/06/2017 – Baltimore, MD – The Sidebar
9/07/2017 – Richmond, VA – McCormack’s Pub
9/08/2017 – Louisville, KY – Magnolia Bar
9/09/2017 – Indianapolis, IN – Taps Live
9/13/2017 – Moline, IL – The Island
9/14/2017 – St. Louis, MO – Fubar
9/15/2017 – Kansas City, MO – Union Library
9/16/2017 – Omaha, NE – Wired Pub

Attalla is:
Cody Stieg – Lead Guitar/Vocal
Brian Hinckley – Rhythm Guitar
Bryan Kunde – Bass
James Slater – Drums

http://facebook.com/attallawi
https://www.instagram.com/attallawi/
http://www.attallawi.bandcamp.com
http://www.shadowkingdomrecords.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ShadowKingdomRecords/

Attalla, Glacial Rule (2017)

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Review & Track Premiere: Blues Funeral, Awakening

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on August 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

blues funeral awakening

[Click play above to listen to ‘Shadow of the Snake’ from Blues Funeral’s Awakening. Album is out Aug. 25.]

Immediately the sense from Awakening is one of continuity. To make their second full-length, and their second in as many years behind July 2016’s The Search (review here), Houston four-piece Blues Funeral returned to Lucky Run Studios to record and mix with Jeremy Dudman and Mike Mikulka. Like the debut before it, the sophomore outing features six tracks, five of which run between five and six-plus minutes long, plus one cut that branches out longer — last time it was the title-track, here it’s 8:21 closer “The Gathering Dust.” Like the debut before it, Awakening features the dual-guitar-led lineup of guitarists/vocalists Maurice Eggenschwiler and Jan “El Janni” Kimmel (the latter also keys), bassist Gabriel Katz and drummer Cory Cousins (the latter also backing vocals on “Awakening” and “Casimir”), a mastering job by Collin Jordan at the Boiler Room, artwork by David Paul Seymour and a sound that toys with the lines between progressive and classic rock, classic rock and classic metal, and classic metal and doom. Listening to songs like opener “Shadow of the Snake” and “Illusions of Reality,” it’s pretty clear that Blues Funeral had plenty about their debut they liked and wanted to use as a model to build from.

Fair enough. Given how solidified The Search was in its approach and the cohesive presentation that it brought forth from the band, one isn’t inclined to argue, but just because that record and Awakening share core aspects doesn’t preclude growth on the part of Blues Funeral either. Rather, as a group and as individual players, they demonstrate a forward-looking mentality in terms of their own development that seems to have been taken on with willful purpose, and like other let’s-have-a-guitar-fight-except-it’s-not-really-a-fight-and-also-we-harmonize, prog-fueled outfits of their ilk — the underrated likes of Valkyrie and Corsair come to mind most readily, as well as newer Beelzefuzz — Blues Funeral do justice to their influences in their own progression as much as through the sonic foundation from which they work.

Melody is central throughout. Awakening‘s six tracks run a manageable 39 minutes and while for the bulk of that time there’s more rhythmic motion going on or more active lead-taking than one would generally classify as “pastoral,” the material is rife with nuance, be it in the form of the layered-in acoustics of “Casimir,” the organ that accompanies the initial bounce of “Shadow of the Snake,” the mellotron in “The Gathering Dust,” guest vocals on “Firedrake” or even just the way “Awakening” itself so skillfully blends metallic and heavy rocking impulses, taking cues from Uriah Heep, Deep Purple and later Opeth in its blend of organ and guitar and the clean delivery of the vocal harmonies between Kimmel and Eggenschwiler, which prove throughout once again to be central figure of Blues Funeral‘s sound, as well as a tasteful example of their development as songwriters and players.

The two guitarists and Cousins played together in the less prog-rocking Sanctus Bellum, so they weren’t strangers coming into Blues Funeral or anything, but among the elements of the newer outfit established on this follow-up is the ongoing shaping of a personality all its own, increasingly distinct as it digs into the soul-infused boogie of “Illusions of Reality” and subtle vocal arrangement complexity there as complemented by Katz‘s highlight bass performance in the quieter lead break in the midsection. Once again, melody is the root, even from the rhythm section.

blues funeral (photo Grooverock)

Couple this with a firm sense of two-sided intent. The first three tracks — “Shadow of the Snake,” “Awakening” and “Illusions of Reality” — are rockers. The title-track especially feels dug into a more crunching tonality at its launch before opening to its more flowing chorus, but it and the two pieces surrounding are defined by a more straightforward lean on hooks and structural classicism. At 5:05, “Illusions of Reality” is the shortest inclusion on Awakening, and its uptempo push is friendly, warm and inviting in a good-times-listening-to-ThinLizzy fashion that even vaguely metal-derived songcraft rarely dares to be. Blues Funeral, as much time as they spend with Eggenschwiler and Kimmel‘s guitars at the fore, are aiming to directly engage their listeners on Awakening‘s side A, and their success in this effort is precisely what allows them to hold a sense of full-album fluidity as the subsequent side B begins to branch out its more expansive modus.

Now, are Blues Funeral going experimental black metal drone? Nope. While all three are longer than “Shadow of the Snake,” “Awakening” or “Illusions of Reality,” tonally and atmospherically, “Firedrake,” “Casimir” and “The Gathering Dust” stay consistent with what the first half of Awakening has on offer — and they’re correct to do so — but each of the last three pieces also has some bit of flourish to stand it out from its surroundings. Perhaps “Firedrake” is the most obvious, with the already-noted guest vocal appearance from Kelly Cousins Adams (sister to Cory) marking a departure from the choruses delivered by the guitarists together and the tradeoffs between them. Complemented by particularly righteous Nord from Kimmel and guitar ambling alongside the keys’ winding course — also another must-hear bassline from Katz — “Firedrake” holds a patient and flowing presentation that, while in its last third gives into some doomier-feeling riff and solo work, also sets up the arrival of the acoustic/electric blend that will continue in “Casimir.”

One does not imagine the similarity in title to Led Zeppelin‘s “Kashmir” is coincidental, as Awakening‘s penultimate track takes on some loosely Eastern-feeling scales in its intricate barrage of leads and has a narrative drama in its verses no less born of classic heavy rock. Resolution, as it will, comes in a last solo punctuated by ride bell from Cousins and a sudden stop to let “The Gathering Dust” take hold on its own terms — a thrust of NWOBHM-style poise is backed by carefully-woven drawn-out lead lines (perhaps the most Akerfeldtian moment on Awakening, especially with the key section and riff that follow), and suddenly the point of emphasis becomes how much Blues Funeral have been able to build and maintain a momentum across the album’s span while still allowing individual songs their moment, not sounding rushed or hurried in any way, but never still either.

The guitars are key in this, of course, but it’s a whole-band function just the same, and another example of Blues Funeral‘s second offering having moved ahead from the first. As the closer makes its way through more harmonized soloing in its middle and toward its instrumental, also-solo-topped final minutes, and ends in classy fashion with a quick wash of cymbals and pulled-string scorch, the message is no less plain than it has been all along that the foursome have a determined idea of what they want to do as a band, who they are as players and songwriters, and how they should be working together toward the common goals of their processes. The value of that isn’t to be understated when it comes to making Awakening work as well as it does. Given the progressive feel they elicit throughout, that underlying consciousness couldn’t be more appropriate, and it is one more way in which Blues Funeral earn the listener’s trust in terms of the moves they make here and, invariably, those that will follow their next time out.

Blues Funeral on Thee Facebooks

Blues Funeral on Bandcamp

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End Hip End It: Acid King, Elder, Dead Meadow, Josefus & Many More to Play

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

I’m not gonna discount the notion of seeing the likes of Josefus sharing the stage with The Well and Doomstress, or of watching the almighty Acid King roll out their riffly triumphs next to Dead MeadowElderMothership and a megaslew of others, but I think the fact that if you buy a ticket for the second day of End Hip End It you get two slices of pizza speaks volumes to the vibe the Spring, Texas-based festival is going for, and that’s a vibe with which I think just about anybody can get down.

The lineup is varied from Funeral Horse and Switchblade Jesus to King Buffalo and Stone Machine Electric, but there’s a heaping representation of the fertile Texan underground here, and that’s likewise respectable. My understanding is they’ve run into some branding issues — I guess repeating any word in your fest name in Texas is verboten because you’re making fun of SXSW? seems to me SXSW could stand to be taken down a peg or two, but couldn’t we all? — and might rename the event for 2018, but whatever you call it, it looks like a good time to me.

Lineup, other info and ticket link follow:

end-hip-end-it-2017

END HIP END IT MUSIC FESTIVAL

OCT 21 – OLD TOWN SPRING, TEXAS

DAY 1 will feature 25 bands in Old Town Spring, Texas. Preservation Park will have three stages of music as well as many interactive art projects thanks to the Generators Playground.

Stage 1
Dead meadow 12:00 – 1:00
The Bright Light Social Hour 10:40 – 11:20
Golden Dawn Arkestra 9:20 – 10:00
Bayonne 8:00 – 8:40
The deer 6:40 – 7:20
AMERICAN SHARKS 5:20 – 6:00
ROSE ETTE 4:00 – 4:40
VANILLA WHALE 3:00 – 3:40
pyreship 2:00 – 2:30
JODY SEABODY & THE WHIRLS 1:00 – 1:30

Stage 2
Acid King 11:20 – 12:00
ELDER 10:00 – 10:40
MOTHERSHIP 8:40 – 9:20
king buffalo 7:20 – 8:00
eagle claw 6:00 – 6:40
greenbeard 4:40 – 5:20
funeral horse 3:30 – 4:00
SWITCHBLADE JESUS 2:30 – 3:00
WARLUNG 1:30 – 2:00

Stage 3
John Evans Band 8:20 – 9:00
Flower Graves 7:10 – 7:50
The Cuckoos 6:10 – 6:50
Ancient Cat Society 5:10 – 5:50
The Mammoths 4:10 – 4:50
Mantra Love 3:10 – 3:50
Howard & the Nosebleeds 2:10 – 2:40

OCT 22 – WALTER’S DOWNTOWN
SUNDAY at Walter’s Downtown there will be two stages with 13 bands on rotation. Ticket purchasers will receive two drink tickets and two pizza slices!

the well
L.A. Witch
doomstress
amplified heat
space villains*
white dog
josefus
crypt trip
stone machine electric
only beast
concrete heat
daze
shallow

KIP Passes get you…
Entry to both days
backstage access
FREE T-shirt on Saturday
access to hammock hangout
one extra beer on Sunday

At End Hip End It you will find a tightly tucked 20 acre plot of land filled with green grass, craft breweries, interactive art projects, live music, beer tasting events, auctions for charities, Light shows, food trucks, VIP access, local vendors, and more. Interactive art projects will be hosted by Bao Pham of the Generators Playground.

https://www.facebook.com/HoustonPsychFest/
https://www.facebook.com/events/444285199249564/
http://www.endhipendit.com/
http://www.endhipendit.com/tickets
https://www.instagram.com/end_hip_end_it/
http://www.twitter.com/endhipendit

Acid King, Live at Electric Funeral Fest, June 17, 2017

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Enslaved Post Video for “Storm Son” from New Album E

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

enslaved e storm son

A few crucial learnings from the new Enslaved track, and you know I love crucial learnings. The mainstay Norwegian progressive black metallers announced last week they’ll issue their new album, E, on Oct. 13 via Nuclear Blast, and in a week that was full of good news of releases to come, that might’ve been the most welcome date to mark on the calendar. In accordance with unveiling the cover runic origins, cover art, tracklisting and preorders for E, they said they’d be posting the first single “Storm Son” on Friday, and sure enough, they lived up to their word.

The 10-minute track makes a substantial sampling of what famed producer Jens Bogren is bringing to themix and master E in terms of clarity of vision and precise instrument separation — the track is immediately clean, very much in the style of Bogren‘s work on Enslaved‘s last four albums and countless others — and the video is by Josh Graham. You might recognize his crow-flying-in-profile motif from Neurosis‘ “Stones from the Sky” video, though there’s plenty going on here besides.

Before we get to the clip, let’s run through what we find out in it:

1. New dude can sing.

Granted, we may or may not be getting a guest appearance in the second half of “Storm Son” from Einar Selvik of Wardruna as well, and as the subsequent gallop takes off, bassist Grutle Kjellson‘s rasp is front and center (his own clean vocals are there too, somewhat buried in the layering), but early in the track, we get to hear new keyboardist Håkon Vinje‘s voice for the first time, and yeah, he pretty much nails it. What Vinje would bring to the band in filling the void left by Herbrand Larsen, who stepped away earlier in 2017 after a 13-year tenure, was to my mind the biggest question going into E, and if “Storm Son” is any indicator, things are gonna be alright. Larsen‘s progression as a vocalist over the last decade was a hallmark of Enslaved‘s stylistic progression, and obviously the band didn’t want to take any backward steps in losing him.

2. The style hasn’t changed that much.

A start-stop riff from guitarists Ivar Bjørnson and Arve Isdal carries the spirit of 2015’s In Times (review here) forward, and as one would expect, drummer/famed fisherman Cato Bekkevold is malleable to whatever changes the song might present. Much as it marks a new beginning for Enslaved in terms of their lineup, “Storm Son” doesn’t come across as a radical shift from where they were two years ago in terms of sound so much as the next step in their ongoing evolution. I’m not sure I’d count on one song to speak for E as a whole — yes, that’s me hedging my bets — but even with some notable post-rock flourish, I don’t feel blindsided by what the band is doing here.

3. Metallic patience abounds.

That said, one can hear a certain meditativeness in the repetitions early; Enslaved seeming to take that extra measure or two before switching to the next part of the track. That’s what I mean by “metallic patience.” It’s not like they’re jamming out — one would never really expect them to suddenly go improv — but while Enslaved resolve “Storm Son” with significant rhythmic charge, they also allow the textures of the track to flesh out a bit without growing fed up with waiting, losing their grip, and blasting out before it feels right to do so. There’s still a build in “Storm Son” along a linear course, but pay attention to how Enslaved handle it on their way through and I think you’ll notice as well that they hold their sense of poise even as that fury mounts, and that control is emblematic both of their experience and of the place that has brought them as players and songwriters.

Enjoy the video:

Enslaved, “Storm Son” official video

True avant-garde Norwegians ENSLAVED will release their epic new studio album E on October 13th, 2017 and with this 14th full-length record, the virtuoso herald a new chapter in the band’s history. To provide a first taste of what’s to come, the band now unveils their debut music video for the 10 minute long single “Storm Son” that blends mesmerizing prog with jarring extreme metal and a folky atmosphere. The music video was designed by Josh Graham, who previously worked with SOUNDGARDEN and NEUROSIS among others, and delivered a truly spectacular piece of animated art.

“‘Storm Son’ deals with the duality of man and nature, how important and basic that relationship is,” explains songwriter and guitarist Ivar. “Everything we do and create are imitations of nature; as we evolved from nature, that is how it must be – yet modern man thinks he and she is independent of nature, that we somehow are so superior that we do not have to take nature into consideration other than as a backdrop for shitty movies. Or festivals. Losing touch with nature is basically to lose touch with being human.”

You can now pre-order the physical editions of the album here: nuclearblast.com/enslaved-e

Or get the digital version and stream the new track “Storm Son” via this link: nblast.de/EnslavedDigital

The track list contains these majestic anthems:
01. Storm Son (10:54)
02. The River’s Mouth (5:12)
03. Sacred Horse (8:12)
04. Axis Of The Worlds (7:49)
05. Feathers Of Eolh (8:06)
06. Hiindsiight (9:32)
Bonus tracks available on the digipak:
07. Djupet (7:39)
08. What Else Is There? (Röyksopp cover) (4:44)

Enslaved on Thee Facebooks

Enslaved on Instagram

Enslaved on Twitter

Enslaved website

Nuclear Blast on Thee Facebooks

Nuclear Blast on Instagram

Nuclear Blast on Twitter

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Alcest to Release 10th Anniversary Edition of Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde Sept. 22

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

What else could you call Alcest‘s Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde but the right album at the right time? On some levels it seems like a quick 10 years since the French post-black metallers made their opening and defining statement with their first full-length, but when one considers the impact that record has had since, yeah, a decade sounds about right. Respected purveyor Prophecy Productions will give Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde its due with a deluxe reissue next month and the package looks suitably lush for the groundbreaking melodic wistfulness Neige and Winterhalter brought to bear the first time around. If ever there was an album suited to nostalgia…

The PR wire has the new cover art and details for the release:

alcest-souvenirs-dun-autre-monde

Alcest to Release Deluxe 10 Year Anniversary Editions of Debut Album, ‘Souvenirs d’un autre monde’

Released in 2007, Alcest’s debut album, Souvenirs d’un autre monde, marks the starting point of the French band’s extraordinary career. In celebration of the 10th anniversary of this groundbreaking record, Prophecy Productions has unveiled plans to reissue Souvenirs d’un autre monde in two very special limited edition formats on September 22.

With the release of Souvenirs d’un autre monde (English: “Memories from another world”), Alcest mastermind Neige forged a luminous new sound that floats on the fringes of metal, yet incorporates emotions of euphoria, bliss and nostalgia. The album has become known as one of the fundamental releases of the Blackgaze / Post-Black Metal genre, and a record that continually influences countless other bands in its wake. The singer and multi-instrumentalist dedicated the album to his childhood memories of experiences in a spiritual otherworld; personal themes that would become conceptual cornerstones of subsequent Alcest albums.

Limited editions of Souvenirs d’un autre monde include:

1.) Anniversary book (CD edition, 18×18 cm, 48 pages):
Including:
– Alternate cover artwork by longtime Alcest photographer Andy Julia, originally used for the first LP pressing of the album!
– In-depth essay written by Neige. Chapters include: Back in 2007 | Genesis & concept | Recording | Musical influences | Retrospective
– Additional exclusive essays by Andy Julia (Soror Dolorosa) and Aaron Weaver (Wolves in the Throne Room)
– Lyrics with English translation
– Many rare and unpublished photos of Neige from the Souvenirs d’un autre monde era!

2.) Anniversary LP edition
Including:
– 180g vinyl (black)
– Gatefold cover featuring original LP cover artwork (Not used since the first pressings!)
– Din A2 poster with original LP cover artwork
– PVC protection sleeve

Both special editions of Souvenirs d’un autre monde will be released on September 22. Pre-order at THIS location.

Track listing:
1.) Printemps Émeraude (“Emerald Spring”)
2.) Souvenirs d’un autre monde (“Memories from another world”)
3.) Les Iris (“The Iris”)
4.) Ciel Errant (“Wandering Sky”)
5.) Sur l’autre rive je t’attendrai (“On the other shore I will wait for you”)
6.) Tir nan Og (Irish: “Land of the Young”)

Alcest features Neige (guitars, bass, synths and vocals) and Winterhalter (drums).

https://www.facebook.com/alcest.official
https://www.instagram.com/alcestofficial/
https://twitter.com/Alcestofficial
https://www.alcest-music.com/
http://us.prophecy.de/index.php?stoken=68AF156F&lang=1&cl=search&searchparam=souvenirs
https://www.facebook.com/prophecyproductions/
https://www.instagram.com/prophecypro/
https://twitter.com/ProphecyProd

Alcest, Souvenirs d’un Autre Monde (2007)

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Friday Full-Length: YOB, The Great Cessation

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 11th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

YOB, The Great Cessation (2009)

From their 2002 12th Records debut, Elaborations of Carbon, onward, each YOB album has established its own personality, but I don’t think there’s any question 2009’s The Great Cessation (review here) is the angriest of the seven offered to-date. Released as the first of two outings for Profound Lore Records — the other, Atma (review here), followed in 2011 — it marked the return of the groundbreaking Eugene, Oregon, cosmic doomers, who had split after the release of what was then their pinnacle achievement, The Unreal Never Lived (discussed here), was released in 2005.

The story behind that stretch of time has been told and retold, but the tumult plays directly into The Great Cessation‘s atmosphere and five tracks. Guitarist/vocalist Mike Scheidt continued to work with Metal Blade Records, who had put out The Unreal Never Lived and the preceding 2004 full-length, The Illusion of Motion, as he formed the new project Middian and released a debut album therefrom in 2007 titled Age EternalMiddian, who went so far as to tour to support that record — something that YOB was really only starting to do when they called it quits in ’06 — wound up getting sued by an unsigned Wisconsin-based outfit called Midian who had trademarked the name and apparently decided the world wasn’t big enough for more than one band to use it despite the different spelling, and that basically brought the project to an end. Age Eternal, which invariably had some commonalities with YOB‘s work, languished, and though there was a brief time where Middian had changed their name to Age Eternal and it looked like they might press forward, by 2008, Scheidt had reformed YOB with drummer Travis Foster and new bassist Aaron Rieseberg, and work had begun on The Great Cessation, which somewhat ironically given its title, was nothing if not a new beginning for them as a group.

It was also, apparently, the receiving vessel for all the frustration that was born of this troubled time. While Catharsis had cut its teeth in a formative, slow-motion psychedelic doom, The Illusion of Motion made its mark with the perennially satisfying roll of “Ball of Molten Lead,” and The Unreal Never Lived found a place to dwell between sonic spiritualism and crushing heft, The Great Cessation was fueled by a rawer impulse. Produced by Sanford Parker, its sound was crisp and full, but the impact was near-immediate with opening track “Burning the Altar,” and what unfolded from then on would only become more scathing until arriving at its final resolution in the closing 20-minute title cut. To wit, the lurch forward that begins “Burning the Altar,” as YOB seem to reel back and attempt to smother the listener with the weight of the opening riff, or the explosive and caustic turns of the subsequent “The Lie that is Sin,” which crashes and rumbles and seethes even in its quietest stretches, finding Scheidt switching between cleaner vocals and harsh screams amid a final linear build that doesn’t so much offer payoff as it tightens until it can go no further and collapses on itself. “Burning the Altar,” which even eight years later commands nothing less than maximum volume at all times, had something of an instrumental hook, but YOB would pull the rug out from under it with “The Lie that is Sin,” and “Silence of Heaven” and “Breathing from the Shallows” only continued the descent into the darkest territory YOB had pursued up to that time, and maybe the darkest they’ve ever pursued, period.

Among those, particularly “Silence of Heaven.” Don’t get me wrong, “The Lie that is Sin” has just as much crunch as soar, and “Breathing from the Shallows” is second to none in terms of both growl and the critique of lines like “Where are you going with your greed” and “Ambition like cancer,” but if there’s a single representation on The Great Cessation of the raw anger running through the band at the time, it’s the centerpiece. It barely has lyrics, and seems to dedicate the energy that would otherwise go into crafting them into tearing its own flesh off. Furious and, for that, a little sad when taken in relation to the spiritualism or at least metaphysical searching Scheidt and YOB have put at the center of the band’s aesthetic all along, it feels right to call it a moment of pure catharsis despite having nothing to do with that album of the same name. Even when one goes back and listens to “Burning the Altar” or “The Lie that is Sin” before it, the rage of “Silence of Heaven” seems to radiate in all directions, affecting the songs before it as well as those after.

And yet, when The Great Cessation arrives at the quiet opening guitar line of its 20-minute closing title-track, isn’t there some sense of resolution? Isn’t that YOB willing itself — themselves — to press forward from that very anger and get back to the things that truly matter, court costs, legalese and other concerns be damned? In the tradition of “Catharsis,” “The Illusion of Motion” and “The Unreal Never Lived” — each an extended closing title-cut for the record on which it appeared — “The Great Cessation” provided YOB a landing point for the expression of The Great Cessation as a whole, but in its more melodic and serene atmosphere, that landing point also serves to answer “Silence of Heaven”‘s clenched fist with a release of tension. An exhale. Sure, the second half moves into some growling and lumbering riffs, and Rieseberg‘s bass is a thickening presence as always amid Foster‘s popping snare that does so much across the album’s 62 minutes to hold it all together, and the song devolves into noise as it makes its way out, but in comparison, even that seems reassuring compared to the blisters raised earlier. After such chaos, even the final howls of Scheidt‘s guitar — almost like a siren as the bass and drums fade out — are a sign of YOB leaving that anger behind. Purged.

They would indeed keep moving forward. The Great Cessation was my album of the year in 2009 (also the first year this site was up), and Atma followed suit in 2011, but YOB would hit their to-date transcendental peak with 2014’s Clearing the Path to Ascend (review here). Also their debut on Neurot Recordings, it was a record — yes, the top one released that year — that looked inward as much as outward, to the self and the universe surrounding, and in addition to being YOB‘s most sonically progressive songwriting, it seems in hindsight to have taken the will to put its emotions brazenly at the forefront from The Great Cessation, and thereby wind up in a much different place in terms of representing YOB as people and as a group.

I’ve said on multiple occasions that YOB are the best band of their generation, and I stand by that assessment completely. They’re said to have a follow-up to Clearing the Path to Ascend in the works, which I imagine was delayed somewhat owing to recent health issues on Scheidt‘s part (he had surgery multiple times over but seems to be doing well, which is fortunate; all the best to him of course), and seems a likely candidate for most anticipated LP of 2018. Whenever it arrives, rest assured, it will be welcome. In the interim and despite its representing such a dark period of renewal for the band, I hope you enjoy revisiting The Great Cessation.

Thanks for reading and listening.

Kind of a weird week around here, I guess. I had company in town into Tuesday morning, so Monday was kind of a blur, yet in terms of response, it was easily the biggest day for posts. The rest of the week was pretty quiet, relatively speaking, including some stuff that I was hoping would catch more eyes. I recognize not everything is going to reach as many people as Uncle Acid reissuing their first record, but still. A few killer premieres — Blaak Heat, Old Man Wizard, The Quill — and reviews — Paradise Lost, Mindkult — that are well worth a look if you get there. If not, thanks at least for reading this sentence.

In Connecticut today, New Jersey tomorrow and back to Massachusetts on Sunday, so it’s going to be a busy weekend, but I have already and will continue to see family as a part of that process, so I’m looking forward to it. Some pretty cool stuff in store for next week though. Might do a surprise poll if I can bother Slevin to help me put it together over the next day or two, so keep an eye out for that, but there’s plenty besides even if that doesn’t shake out.

Here are the notes, subject to change as always:

Mon.: Blues Funeral track premiere/album review; news on End Hip End It, Attalla and more.
Tue.: Steak video premiere/overdue album review; maybe that poll.
Wed.: Red Mountains track premiere/review; Six Dumb Questions with Cortez.
Thu.: Sundrifter track premiere.
Fri.: Stinkeye review.

These posts have gotten longer and longer lately — writing about YOB is a sure way for me to not at all cure that — but here’s a nice moment to leave you with before I sign off for the weekend:

While waiting to go to a haircut appointment late yesterday afternoon, The Patient Mrs. and I sat outside at a cafe here in CT which we frequent when we’re here. The place was getting ready to close up but there were a couple people sitting at the outside tables and they weren’t chasing anyone away or anything. They just kind of leave them there. The sun was shining and we sat there looking at a clothing rack outside the little for-middle-aged-ladies boutique next door at a black and white shirt with a rose on it and a bird or something and I started cracking wise about buying it and being goth with its wide neck and wearing it when I get hangry and sad before meals. “Aww, what’s the matter, pookie? Did your eating disorder make you goth? Did you have to put on your sad goth shirt because of it?”

My wife, about two months away from giving birth to what will be our first and only child, laughing loud enough so that the people at other tables looked over to see what was going on. My favorite sound in the world. Her amazing laugh. Her wonderful face. I had to stop for a minute to realize how lucky I am to be where I am in my life. I’m 35 years old, unemployed, just waiting to take up the stay-at-home-dad mantle, but it was such an incredible feeling of warmth and beauty in her laugh that I damn near wept behind my sunglasses. How lucky I am. How stupidly, stupidly unworthy I am of the last 19-plus years with her. How much I’m looking forward to the terrific and terrifying adventures ahead and to facing them together. It was such a simple thing, and that moment didn’t last — had to go get that haircut, after all — but if I lived for a thousand years, I’d hope to never forget it.

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

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