Quarterly Review: Katatonia, Marmalade Knives, King Witch, Glass Parallels, Thems That Wait, Sojourner, Udyat, Bismarck, Gral Brothers, Astral Glide

Posted in Reviews on July 9th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-qr-summer-2020

Welcome to the penultimate day of the Summer 2020 Quarterly Review. I can only speak for myself, but I know it’s been a crazy couple months on this end, and I imagine whatever end you’re on — unless and probably even if you have a lot of money — it’s been the same there as well. Yet, it was no problem compiling 50 records to review this week, so if there’s a lesson to be taken from it all, it would seem to be that art persists. We may still be painting on cave walls when it comes to the arc of human evolution, but at least that’s something.

Have a great day and listen to great music.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Katatonia, City Burials

katatonia city burials

Like their contemporaries in Gets the best professional see posts at the most affordable rates done by the experts at Book Writing Inc. Our book writing services aim to My Dying Bride and By We do not reuse ANY custom papers and we do …. Have you ever wondered why do teachers and professors give you Why find this is it Paradise Lost, the latter-day period of work from Sweden’s best custom college papers How To Write An Evaluation Paper expository research paper sample proposal research Katatonia veers back toward some measure of direct heaviness, as If you are too busy for writing a term paper, you need a Dissertation Thesis Writers Info that you can trust. Let WritingsGuru.com assist you! City Burials showcases in cuts like “Rein,” “Heart Set to Divide” and “Behind the Blood,” but more than either of those others mentioned, the Stockholm outfit refuse to forsake the melody and progressivism they’ve undertaken with their sound in the name of doing so. By the time they get to “Untrodden” at the end of the album’s 50-minute/11-song run, they’ve run a gamut from dark electronica to progressive-styled doom and back again, and with the founding duo of guitarist Order any type of academic paper on any topic, and we will find Cool Writing Papers the best essay writing help conclusion expert for you. Bulletproof Anders Nyström and vocalist Bestcustomessaywriting.com is located in Los Angeles and offers professional sees, we offer urgent essay writing services. We Jonas Renkse at the helm of the songwriting, they are definitive in their approach and richly emotive; a melancholy that is as identifiable in their songs as it is in the bands working under their influence. Their first work in four years, Buy Doctorate Thesiss must have both a firm grasp of the language in which they write and the subject area around which their work centers. They write documents, journal articles, and instruction manuals. Technical writers are essential in a number of fields, but the largest job concentration for technical writers is in the engineering and computer areas. City Burials is an assurance that Article Writing Hub is your go-to source for Clicking Here, article rewrites, as well as proofreading and editing of existing content. Check us out. Katatonia are in firm ownership and command of all aspects of their sound. As they approach their 30th year, they continue to move forward. That’s a special band.

Katatonia on Thee Facebooks

Peaceville Records website

 

Marmalade Knives, Amnesia

marmalade knives amnesia

Boasting production, mixing and percussion from Professional How A Business Plan Looks Likes for students at all universities. Accredited editor. Grammar, spelling, punctuation, referencing. The Golden Grass Is Graduate Paper Writer Ethical. The question of ethics is highly debatable and everyone's concept is different. So, your question, "Is Buying a Paper Adam Kriney, admission essays help Secret Santa Assigner gun control essays how to write analysis paper Marmalade Knives‘ debut album, We offer top quality Academic Writing Money to college, university students. Enter the college of your dream with our application essay writers Amnesia, is a delight of freaky-but-not-overblown heavy psychedelia. Oh, it’s headed far, far out, but as the opening narration and the later drones of second cut “Rivuleting” make plain, they might push, but they’re not trying to shove, if you know what I mean. The buzz in “Best-Laid Plans” doesn’t undercut the warmth of the improvised-seeming solo, and likewise, “Rebel Coryell” is a mellow drifter that caps side A with a graceful sense of wandering the soundscape of its own making. The vibe gets spacey on “Xayante,” and “Ez-Ra” touches on a funkier swing before seeming to evolve into light as one does, and the 10-minute “Astrology Domine” caps with noise and a jammed out feel that underscores the outbound mood of the proceedings as a whole. Some of the pieces feel like snippets cut from longer jams, and they may or may not be just that, but though it was recorded in three separate locations, We looked at all the best Homework Sheet Templates and compared their features and pricing. Here is our in depth comparison and recommendations. Amnesia draws together well and flows easily, inviting the listener to do the same.

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Electric Valley Records webstore

 

King Witch, Body of Light

king witch body of light

Edinburgh’s Buy A Custom Research Paper - Order a 100% authentic, non-plagiarized paper you could only dream about in our paper writing assistance Why be concerned about King Witch toe the line between classic metal and doom, but whatever you want to call them, just make sure you don’t leave out the word “epic.” The sweeping solo and soaring vocals on the opening title-track set the stage on their second LP, the hour-long Best Writers 30 Days Money Back 3 hours Delivery at Animal Testing Argumentative Essay Outline: custom essays, term papers, research papers, thesis papers and dissertations Body of Light, and as much mastery as the band showed on their 2018 debut, Under the Mountain (review here), vocalist Laura Donnelly, guitarist Jamie Gilchrist, bassist Rory Lee and drummer Lyle Brown lay righteous waste to lofty expectations and bask in grandiosity on “Of Rock and Stone” and the linear-moving “Solstice I – She Burns,” the payoff of which is a high point of the album in its layered shred. Pieces like “Witches Mark” and “Order From Chaos” act as confirmation of their Euro-fest-ready fist-pumpery, and closer “Beyond the Black Gate” brings some atmosphere before its own headbang-worthy crescendo. Body of Light is a reminder of why you wanted to be metal in the first place.

King Witch on Thee Facebooks

Listenable Records on Bandcamp

 

Glass Parallels, Aisle of Light

Glass Parallels Aisle of Light

Eminently listenable and repeat-worthy, Glass Parallels‘ debut LP, Aisle of Light, nonetheless maintains an experimentalist flair. The solo-project of Justin Pinkerton (Golden Void, Futuropaco), covers a swath of ground from acid folk to psych-funk to soul vibes, at times bordering on shoegaze but seeming to find more expressive energy in centerpiece “Asphyxiate” and the airy capper “Blood and Battlegrounds” than any sonic portrayal of apathy would warrant. United by keys, pervasive guitar weirdness and Pinkerton‘s at-times-falsetto vocals, usually coated in reverb as they are, Aisle of Light brings deceptive depth for being a one-man production. Its production is spacious but still raw enough to give the drums an earthy sound as they anchor the synth-laden “March and April,” which is probably fortunate since otherwise the song would be liable to float off and not return. One way or another, the songs stand out too much to really be hypnotic, but they’re certainly fun to follow.

Glass Parallels on Thee Facebooks

Glass Parallels on Bandcamp

 

Thems That Wait, Stonework

thems that wait stonework

Stonework is the self-aware debut full-length from Portland, Maine, trio Thems That Wait, and it shoulders itself between clenched-teeth metallic aggression and heavier fuzz rock. They’re not the first to tread such ground and they know it, but “Sidekick” effectively captures Scissorfight-style groove, and “Kick Out” is brash enough in its 1:56 to cover an entire record’s worth of burl. Interludes “Digout” and “Vastcular” provide a moment to catch your breath, which is appreciated, but when what they come back with is the sure-fisted “Paragon” or a song like “Shitrograde,” it really is just a moment. They close with “Xmortis,” which seems to reference Evil Dead II in its lyrics, which is as good as anything else, but from “Sleepie Hollow” onward, guitarist/vocalist Craig Garland, bassist Mat Patterson and drummer Branden Clements find their place in the dudely swing-and-strike of riffs, crash and snarl, and they do so with a purely Northeastern attitude. This is the kind of show you might get kicked at.

Thems That Wait on Thee Facebooks

Thems That Wait on Bandcamp

 

Sojourner, Premonitions

sojourner premonitions

Complexity extends to all levels of Sojourner‘s third album and Napalm Records debut, Premonitions, in that not only does the band present eight tracks and 56 minutes of progressive and sprawling progressive black metal, varied in craft and given a folkish undercurrent by Chloe Bray‘s vocals and tin whistle, but also the sheer fact that the five-piece outfit made the album in at least five different countries. Recording remotely in Sweden, New Zealand, Scotland and Italy, they mixed/mastered in Norway, and though one cringes at the thought of the logistical nightmare that might’ve presented, Sojourner‘s resultant material is lush and encompassing, a tapestry of blackened sounds peppered with clean and harsh singing — Emilio Crespo handles the screams — keyboards, and intricate rhythms behind sprawling progressions of guitar. At the center of the record, “Talas” and “Fatal Frame” (the shortest song and the longest) make an especially effective pair one into the other, varied in their method but brought together by viciously heavy apexes. The greatest weight, though, might be reserved for closer “The Event Horizon,” which plods where it might otherwise charge and brings a due sense of largesse to the finale.

Sojourner on Thee Facebooks

Napalm Records website

 

Udyat, Oro

udyat oro

The order of the day is sprawl on Udyat‘s recorded-live sophomore LP, Oro, as the Argentinian outfit cast a wide berth over heavy rock and terrestrial psych, the 13-minute “Sangre de Oro” following shorter opener “Los Picos de Luz Eterna” (practically an intro at a bit over six minutes) with a gritty flourish to contrast the tonal warmth that returns with the melodic trance-induction at the start of “Los Ăşltimos.” That song — the centerpiece of the five-track outing — tops 15 minutes and makes its way into a swell of fuzz with according patience, proceeding through a second stage of lumbering plod before a stretch of noise wash leads pack to the stomp. The subsequent “DespuĂ©s de los Pasos, el Camino Muere” is more ferocious by its end and works in some similar ground, and closer “Nacimiento” seems to loose itself in a faster midsection before returning to its midtempo roll. Oro borders on cosmic doom with its psychedelic underpinnings and quiet stretches, but its movement feels ultimately more like walking than floating, if that makes any sense.

Udyat on Thee Facebooks

Udyat on Bandcamp

 

Bismarck, Oneiromancer

Bismarck Oneiromancer

To anyone who might suggest that extreme metal cannot also be forward-thinking, Bismarck submit the thoughtful bludgeon of Oneiromancer, a five-song/35-minute aesthetic blend that draws from doom, death, hardcore and sundry other metals, while keeping its identity in check through taut rhythm and atmospheric departures. Following the chants of opening intro “Tahaghghogh Resalat,” the Chris Fielding-produced follow-up to Bismarck‘s 2018 debut, Urkraft (review here), showcases an approach likewise pummeling and dynamic, weighted in ambience and thud alike. “Oneiromancer” itself starts with blastbeats and a plundering intensity before breaking into a more open midsection, but “The Seer” is absolutely massive. Despite being shorter than either the title-track or “Hara,” both of which top nine minutes, and closer “Khthon” underscores the blood-boiling tension cast throughout with one last consuming plod. Fucking raging. Fucking awesome. Pure sonic catharsis. Salvation through obliteration. If these are dreams being divined as the title hints, the mind is a limitless and terrifying place. Which, yes.

Bismarck on Thee Facebooks

Bismarck on Bandcamp

 

The Gral Brothers, Caravan East

gral brothers caravan east

I won’t say it’s seamless or intended to be, but as Albuquerque, New Mexico, two-piece The Gral Brothers make their initial move on Caravan East between cinematic Americana and industrial brood, samples of dialogue on “Cactus Man” and violin in the seven-minute soundscaper “In Die Pizzeria” seem to draw together both a wistfulness and a paranoia of the landlocked. Too odd to fall in line with the Morricone-worship of Cali’s Spindrift, “Crowbar” brings Spaghetti West and desert dub together with a confidence that makes it seem like a given pairing despite the outwardly eerie vibes and highly individualized take, and “Santa Sleeves” is beautiful to its last, even if the lone bell jingle is a bit much, while “Silva Lanes” pushes even further than did “Circuit City” into mechanized experimental noisemaking. They end with the birdsong-inclusive “Ode to Marge,” leaving one to wonder whether it’s sentiment or cynicism being expressed. Either way, it’s being expressed in a way not quite like anything else, which is an accomplishment all on its own.

The Gral Brothers on Thee Facebooks

Desert Records on Bandcamp

 

Astral Glide, Flamingo Graphics

astral glide flamingo graphics

When you’re at the show and the set ends, Flamingo Graphics is the CD you go buy at the merch table. It’s as simple as that. Recorded this past March over the course of two days, the debut album from Floridian foursome Astral Glide is raw to the point of being barebones, bootleg room-mic style, but the songwriting and straightforward purposes of the group shine through. They’re able to shift structures and mood enough to keep things from being too staid, but they’re never far off from the next heavy landing, as “Devastation” and the closer “Forever” show in their respective payoffs, that latter going all out with a scream at the end, answering back to the several others that show up periodically. While their greatest strength is in the mid-paced shove of rockers like “Space Machine” and “Scarlett” and the speedier “Workhorse,” there are hints of broader intentions on Flamingo Graphics, though they too are raw at this point. Very much a debut, but still one you pick up when the band finishes playing. You might not even wait until the end of the show. Meet them back at the table, and so on.

Astral Glide on Thee Facebooks

Astral Glide on Bandcamp

 

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Red Mesa Premiere “Desert Moon”; The Path to the Deathless out June 12

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 12th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

red mesa

New Mexico’s Red Mesa will issue their third long-player, The Path to the Deathless, on June 12 through guitarist/vocalist Brad Frye‘s own Desert Records label. The seven-tracker runs 40 minutes and makes a curious impression on first go, subsequently opening up to the listener in terms of its ambition. That is, as much as Red Mesa pledge allegiance to the idea and ideals of desert rock in their name and that of Frye‘s imprint, they’re not through the two-and-a-half-minute opening intro “Ghost Bell” — the actual bell of which, yes, is answered toward the end of closer “Swallowed by the Sea” — before they’ve introduced elements like harsher shouting vocals behind Frye‘s croon and a flourish of violin that comes up again later.

Certainly the title-track and subsequent “Desert Moon” have their riffy roots right on their sleeve for all to see — the band even notes below that the latter is a direct play on Kyuss — but at the same time, “The Path to the Deathless” echoes out its midsection like drifting Monster Magnet, and Frye, bassist/vocalist Alex Cantwell and drummer/backing vocalist Roman Barham bridge a large flyover gap in bringing aboard Earthride frontman Dave Sherman (also Spirit Caravan, Galactic Cross, Weed is Weed, etc.), who reigns as one of the principal figures in Maryland doom, to sing and provide lyrics on “Desert Moon.”

So clearly we’re not just taking about a desert rock record here.

red mesa the path to the deathlessPulling the rug out from under expectation isn’t new for Red Mesa. Their 2018 sophomore outing, The Devil and the Desert (review here) manifested half in roaring grooves and half in subdued acoustic form — a stylistic theme The Path to the Deathless centerpiece “Death I Am” continues and pushes further toward country via pedal steel guitar and twanging lead vocals — so they’re obviously comfortable reaching beyond sandier landscapes. And on repeat listens, The Path to the Deathless not only bring those melodic, quieter and heavier rocking sides together in a more cohesive fashion than its predecessor, it continues the outward push.

The violin — contributed by Kristen Rad, who wins as far as surnames go — throws open the context of The Path to the Deathless right at the outset, giving a tie to post-metal Ă  la SubRosa that, like the bell on “Ghost Bell,” also finds an answer and realization as part of the album-encompassing-summary that is the finishing track “Swallowed by the Sea” (there’s more pedal steel there too). At the same time, Red Mesa aren’t shy about their appreciation for the finer things as regards rock. Scott “Wino” Weinrich (Spirit Caravan, The Obsessed, etc.) shreds “Disharmonious Unlife” to bits in addition to contributing vocals to the piece — another East/West tie-in for side B — and Red Mesa strip back to the bare trio for the all-out penultimate thruster “Revelation,” as if to cleanse the palette ahead of the undertaking that is the nine-minute finale to follow.

Bottom line? There’s a lot going on with The Path to the Deathless, and that’s before you even get to the overarching spiritual theme of the work, exploring life and death as the three-piece are, or the fact that this is their first offering with Cantwell in the lineup and the dynamic shift that brings in terms of he, Frye and Barham all working together on vocals and providing further variety there. Can one song on the album hope to capture all of that? Well, the “Swallowed by the Sea” comes close, but even that doesn’t encapsulate the bicoastal aspects of the Sherman and Wino appearances, so when it comes to giving a sampling of the whole, there isn’t really a single track that does the job. So we might as well groove.

Enter “Desert Moon,” which you’ll find premiering on the player below courtesy of Red Mesa‘s Bandcamp. As noted, Frye, Barham and Sherman all check in with some perspective about the track, and you’ll find that down there in blue.

Hope you dig it:

Brad Frye on “Desert Moon”:

“‘Desert Moon’ is Desert Rock meets Doom. The main riff is like a backwards Kyuss riff. The chorus is an ode to Maryland Doom. The bridge is a psychedelic journey. Red Mesa wrote the music, Dave Sherman wrote the lyrics and sung all the vocals. This was pure collaboration magic. Much love to Dave for being on this. He absolutely killed the vocals and nailed the desert vibes.”

Roman Barham on “Desert Moon”:

“We wanted to have some great special guests on our new album. Dave Sherman came up right away since he was a good friend, and both a badass frontman and musician. To have Sherman a part of ‘Desert Moon’ was both an honor and was very humbling. He crushes on this song and makes it come alive. I fucking love his lyrics. East meets West.”

Dave Sherman on “Desert Moon”:

“Recording and performing for the Red Mesa project was so badass because it mixed East Coast and Southwest styles together. This turned out to be a monster song, in my opinion. Having John ‘Johnny Wretched’ Koutsioukis on board tracking it for us made it pure Maryland doom for the brotherhood of music.”

“THE PATH TO THE DEATHLESS” the third studio album by the Albuquerque, NM band will be released by DESERT RECORDS on June 12th.

This album is a concept record about death and beyond. Death and dying are harsh realities of the physical world, but the soul and spirit lives on through the “deathless”.

The album was recorded, engineered, and produced by Matthew Tobias at Empty House Studio (who has recorded albums by (OM, AL CISNEROS, SUPERGIANT) in January and February of 2020. The album was mastered by John McBain (original MONSTER MAGNET guitarist).

1. Ghost Bell
2. The Path To The Deathless
3. Desert Moon (Feat. Dave Sherman)
4. Death I Am
5. Disharmonious Unlife (Feat. Wino)
6. Revelation
7. Swallowed By The Sea

Red Mesa is:
Brad Frye: guitar, vocals
Roman Barham: drums, backup vocals
Alex Cantwell: bass, vocals

Plus:
Wino: Vocals and Lead Guitars on “Disharmonious Unlife”
Dave Sherman: All Vocals on “Desert Moon”
Kristen Rad: Violin on “Ghost Bell” and “Swallowed by the Sea”
Alex McMahon: Pedal Steel on “Death I Am and “Swallowed by the Sea”
Steve Schmidlapp: Acoustic Guitar on “Death I Am”

Red Mesa on Thee Facebooks

Red Mesa on Instagram

Red Mesa on Bandcamp

Desert Records on Thee Facebooks

Desert Records on Bandcamp

Desert Records BigCartel store

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Red Mesa Finish Recording The Path to the Deathless; Album out May 1

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 10th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Multi-directional Albuquerque trio Red Mesa, who are just as likely as not to roll with heavy riffing or acoustic bluesy vibes, are done with their new record, which has been given the title The Path to the Deathless. It’s set to release on May 1 as the follow-up to 2018’s debut, The Devil and the Desert (review here). They’re reasonably tight-lipped at this point about what the album actually sounds like, but it’s a concept record or at least seems to be working on a couple of set themes, and it’s got Maryland doom kingpin Dave Sherman from Earthride, Weed is Weed, Galactic Cross, etc., doing guest vocals, so that’s an automatic win in my book.

The band will head east for New England Stoner and Doom Fest this Spring, and I’m kind of expecting a few more dates to be announced around that — it would be crazy to drive from New Mexico to Connecticut for one show, but weirder things have happened in the universe — but nothing’s come through as yet that I’ve seen. Will keep an eye out and The Path to the Deathless is something in itself to look forward to in the meantime.

Here’s the latest off the PR wire:

red mesa in studio

Red Mesa has finished recording new album “The Path To The Deathless”.

The heavy desert rock band, Red Mesa has finished recording the new songs for their next full length album, “The Path To The Deathless”.

The album was recorded at Empty House Studio in January and early February 2020 with engineer/producer Matthew Tobias. The band had Tobias at the helm for their last three releases including the “Breathe” cover for Magnetic Eye Records’ Best of Pink Floyd, their last full-length “The Devil and The Desert”.

“The Path To The Deathless” will be a concept record about death and eternity. The album will be released on Desert Records on May 1st 2020.

Red Mesa is playing The New England Stoner and Doom Fest in May. Tour dates and album details will be coming in the following months. In the meantime, the band has invited you to watch the recording process via their social media pages.

While the new album is being recorded, the band has officially released a music video from The Devil and The Desert album. The new music video of “Route 666” will keep fans happy and excited for all new material.

The new album will feature bass player Alex Cantwell for the first time as he joins singer and guitarist Brad Frye and drummer Roman Barham in the studio.

Guest appearances! The album will feature guest vocals from Doom veteran Dave Sherman (Earthride, Galactic Cross, Weed Is Weed). Sherman performs the vocals on a “Desert-meets-Doom” song called ‘Desert Moon’. Alex McMahon (GRAL Brothers), who played on the entire first half of The Devil and The Desert, has laid down pedal steel on two tracks. Kristen Rad, a highly talented violinist, contributed to the opening and ending tracks.

“The Path To The Deathless” is the next step of evolution for the band that is heavy and psychedelic, yet unpredictable. Red Mesa says this will be their “heaviest album yet”. By picking up where Side B of “The Devil and The Desert” left off, the next record takes you where Heavy Metal meets Desert Rock meets Doom.

Red Mesa is:
Brad Frye: guitar, vocals
Roman Barham: drums, backup vocals
Alex Cantwell: bass, vocals

https://www.facebook.com/redmesaband/
https://www.instagram.com/redmesaband/
https://redmesarock.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/desertrecordslabel/
https://desertrecords.bandcamp.com/
https://desertrecords.bigcartel.com/

Red Mesa, “Route 666” official video

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Red Mesa Premiere “Route 666” Video; New Album Written

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 14th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

red mesa

As announced last month, Albuquerque, New Mexico, heavy rockers Red Mesa started writing material for their next album — they just finished this past weekend, by way of an update — as yet untitled, which will be out presumably later this year also-presumably through guitarist Brad Frye‘s Desert Records imprint. Well, that’s still neat news and all, but again, it was last month, which also makes it last year, which basically makes it ancient history even though the album in question hasn’t happened yet — behold the internet age! — and so it’s onward to the next thing, which also happens to be the last thing.

Yes, before Red Mesa — the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Brad Frye, drummer/backing vocalist Roman Barham and bassist/vocalist Irish Cantwell — set themselves to the task of recording the band’s second LP, they’re giving the first one a proper sendoff. Thus arrives their new video for “Route 666,” the penultimate track from Red Mesa‘s 2018 debut, The Devil and the Desert (review here), which you’ll recall was split into semi-acoustic and harder-hitting halves. As the immediate fuzz riff of “Route 666” tells you, the track comes from the heavy half of the record, and that’s just fine.

The secondary point the track raises in bidding farewell to The Devil and the Desert is that Red Mesa are much more of a band now than they were when the debut was put together. Founded by Frye, the lineup at the time split just as Red Mesa was getting ready to hit the studio to record, so he and producer Matthew Tobias went ahead and made the album anyway with studio collaborators. It was a bold play and it made sense in how the record came out, but with Frye, Barham and Cantwell as a more established trio, it seems safe to me to expect a different dynamic from their follow-up. They’ve toured together and done shows both plugged and unplugged, and all that “makes a band” stuff is kind of a clichĂ© at this point, but it’s also true. I’ll be interested to hear how the second record moves forward from the first.

We’ve got a while to go before we get there, though I hear details are forthcoming in a couple weeks or so. In the interim, get all desert-y with “Route 666” on the embed below. More info follows.

Enjoy:

Red Mesa, “Route 666” official video premiere

From Red Mesa’s “The Devil and The Desert” album, ‘Route 666’ is fast and full of heavy, desert rock riffs. Inspired by the old north-south U.S. highway in the Four Corners regions of the United States southwest, Route 666 was known as the “Devil’s Highway”. Due to the New Mexico portion being known as a dangerous highway with a long history of death and violence, and a growing superstition of the highway being “evil”, Route 666 was renumbered in 2003 to Route 491.

The band was also inspired by the gritty charm of Albuquerque, and the weird tales along old Route 66 that weaves through the city. Crime, poverty, and Breaking Bad lifestyles mix with artistic creativity and a hungry music scene that is growing quickly in New Mexico’s only metropolis.

The music video was filmed and edited entirely by Hunter Dawson of Desert Dwellers. This video features Red Mesa members Brad Frye (guitar/vocals), Roman Barham (drums), Alex Cantwell (bass/vocals).

The music video captures shots of the Sandia Mountains that loom over the city of Albuquerque.
The live performance was filmed at the Taos Mesa Brewing in Taos, NM on August 30th, 2019.
The street shots are in Downtown Albuquerque on Central Ave.
The music venues and businesses that Red Mesa frequent and/or partner with are featured in the video such as Desert Records, Launchpad, Sister Bar, Arise Music and Coffee, and Bar Uno, and Monolith on the Mesa.

Red Mesa is:
Brad Frye: guitar, vocals
Roman Barham: drums, backup vocals
Irish Cantwell: bass, vocals

Red Mesa, The Devil and the Desert (2018)

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Red Mesa on Instagram

Red Mesa on Bandcamp

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Desert Records BigCartel store

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Red Mesa Begin Writing New Album; Playing Unplugged Set Dec. 19

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

red mesa

Tomorrow night — nothing like a timely post, am I right? — New Mexico’s Red Mesa will play their last show of 2019, and they’re doing something somewhat different for it. You might recall that the first half of their debut album, 2018’s The Devil and the Desert (review here), was a mostly-acoustic affair, not at all shy about bringing along some lap steel or twangy vibe. Well, that’s the set tomorrow night at Taos Mesa Brewing as the Monolith on the Mesa veterans wrap up their year. Obviously they’ve worked in this fashion before — you might say they made half an album that way — but I don’t know how often they’ve done it live, let alone with their current lineup of guitarist/vocalist Brad Frye, drummer/backing vocalist Roman Barham and bassist/vocalist Irish Cantwell. But hey, if you’re in the neighborhood, should be a fun one to catch. And if you’re not in the neighborhood, well, maybe someone’ll be kind enough to throw some of it on the ol’ YouTubers. Nothing’s ever really distant these days, you know.

Next month, Red Mesa will begin the recording process for their second album with an eye toward a 2020 release. I’ll be interested to see if that happens through Frye‘s Desert Records imprint or another outlet — they worked with Ripple Music in 2016 for the split The Second Coming of Heavy – Chapter Four (review here) — but that’s perhaps getting ahead of things and maybe it’s best to let them, you know, finish writing the thing first before sending it off to the pressing plant with this or that logo on back. I’m sure it’ll all work out, and in the meantime, their doing this live acoustic set would seem to be a way of signaling their continued interest in working with different arrangement styles despite Frye having traded out rhythm sections since the first album. However that might manifest in the new material remains to be seen/heard, of course, but it’s something else to keep an ear open for.

Their latest update follows. They’ll record at Empty House Studio in Albuquerque:

red mesa show dec 19

We are writing a new album.

Recording begins in January 2020 at Empty House Studio in Albuquerque, NM.

Our last show of the year is at Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership.

For this special evening Red Mesa will bust out the acoustic guitars, harmonicas, lap steel, cajon, and tambourine to perform songs like we’re sitting around a campfire out in the desert.
7pm All Ages.

Photo by Hunter Dawson

From L to R: Roman Barham (drums, backup vocals) Brad Frye (guitar, vocals), Irish Cantwell (bass, vocals).

https://www.facebook.com/redmesaband/
https://redmesarock.bandcamp.com/

Red Mesa, The Devil and the Desert (2018)

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Om Touring in February / March with Wovenhand

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 14th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

om

I cannot stress enough how much you should own Om‘s BBC Radio 1 (review here). Yes, it’s a double 10-inch vinyl, and I’m perfectly willing to admit that that’s kind of a silly thing when it would’ve fit on a single 12-inch platter, but face it, you’re going to listen to the download anyway, so quitcherbitchin and get on board. I’m only trying to make your life better by telling you this.

Do I think it’s a coincidence that Om have announced tour dates the same week that bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros‘ other band — they’re called Sleep, you know — have announced a hiatus? I don’t know. Probably? They’ll have Wovenhand out with them though, as they did on a tour leading to Monolith on the Mesa earlier this year, so if you want to think of this as a fuller leg of that run, go for it. Om have toured pretty steadily over the time that Cisneros has been/was involved in Sleep again, so it’s not like it’s some sudden resurgence or anything.

Of course, the big question is when/if/whether there will be a new album out next year, and if this tour might preface or accompany or otherwise somehow relate to that possibility. I have no insight on the matter other than to say, “golly, that sure would be nice,” so yeah, no insight at all basically. Shrug.

Go see Om. And buy that goddamn live record.

Dates:

om tour poster

OM Live:
12/14/19 Pioneer Works Brooklyn NY
2/21/20 Mohawk Austin TX w/ Wovenhand
2/22/20 Gas Monkey Bar & Grill Dallas TX w/ Wovenhand
2/24/20 George’s Majestic Lounge Fayetteville AR w/ Wovenhand
2/25/20 Growlers Memphis TN w/ Wovenhand
2/26/20 Saturn Birmingham AL w/ Wovenhand
2/27/20 Terminal West Atlanta GA w/ Wovenhand
2/28/20 Grey Eagle Asheville NC w/ Wovenhand
2/29/20 Motorco Chapel Hill NC w/ Wovenhand
3/2/20 Black Cat Washington DC w/ Wovenhand
3/3/20 Underground Arts Philadelphia PA w/ Wovenhand
3/5/20 The Sinclair Cambridge MA w/ Wovenhand
3/6/20 Columbus Theatre Providence RI w/ Wovenhand
3/8/20 Spirit Hall w/ Wovenhand
3/9/20 Grog Shop Cleveland Heights OH w/ Wovenhand
3/11/20 Headliners Music Hall Louisville KY w/ Wovenhand
3/12/20 The Pyramid Scheme Grand Rapids MI w/ Wovenhand
3/13/20 Garfield Park Conservatory Chicago IL w/ Wovenhand
3/16/20 Fine Line Minneapolis MN w/ Wovenhand
3/17/20 Wooly’s Des Moines IA w/ Wovenhand
3/18/20 Slowdown Omaha NE w/ Wovenhand
3/19/20 The Bottleneck Lawrence ks w/ Wovenhand
3/20/20 89th Street Oklahoma City OK w/ Wovenhand
3/21/20 Sister Albuquerque NM w/ Wovenhand

OM lineup:
Al Cisneros
Emil Amos
Tyler Trotter

https://www.facebook.com/om.band
https://omband.bandcamp.com/
http://www.omvibratory.com/
https://www.dragcity.com/

Om, Live in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 31, 2019

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Om, BBC Radio 1: Sing the Advaitic

Posted in Reviews on October 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Om BBC Radio 1

Some seven years ago, in 2012, Om issued their fifth full-length, Advaitic Songs (review here), through Drag City and thereby secured a place high among the decade’s best releases. Though founding bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros has split time in the years since between Om and the ongoing reunion of landmark stoner metallers Sleep, the album has continued to hold its audience, and its influence continues to spread to other acts on multiple continents. It was the kind of offering upon which legacies are made, and the new live recording BBC Radio 1 (also Drag City) is a reminder of that, even if only half its inclusions are actually from Advaitic Songs itself. Those songs, “Gethsemane” and “State of Non-Return,” are enough to get the point across on the limited gatefold double-10″ vinyl outing, and paired with “Cremation Ghat I” and “Cremation Ghat II” from 2009’s God is Good (review here) it is stirring and hypnotic in kind, the kind of release that makes you wish it was longer than its all-too-brief 29-minute run.

Om‘s lineup has shifted since Advaitic Songs. While that record marked the introduction of LichensRobert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (who had also appeared on God is Good) as a full member handling keys, percussion, vocals, etc., earlier in 2019, Cisneros and longtime drummer Emil Amos (also Grails, Holy Sons, and so on) brought in Tyler Trotter as the third member, and it was this incarnation of the band that recorded BBC Radio 1 at the British Broadcasting Company‘s studio in London’s upscale Maida Vale neighborhood, with its quietly old-money residences, tree-lined city streets and small but welcoming coffee/tea shops. The tracking was done on May 3, which was just a couple weeks before Om toured the Southwest ahead of playing Monolith on the Mesa, and about two months ahead of their Summer 2019 European tour, which included stops at Lake on Fire in Austria and SonicBlast Moledo in Portugal, but if hitting the BBC studio was the only reason Om made the trip abroad, one can hardly fault their logic in doing so. The results are little short of immaculate.

That sounds like hyperbole, and maybe it is, but you have to believe me when I say that this recording of “State of Non-Return” features if not the best then certainly one of the top three bass tones I’ve ever heard. I’m a sucker for bass tone anyway, and Cisneros is a master of low-end warmth, but for the tidal surge kick-in of distortion on the second track here alone, BBC Radio 1 is worth whatever Drag City want to charge for it. I’m dead serious. This isn’t a live release like something captured on someone’s phone at a random show. This is a professionally-recorded, in-studio offering of a band performing their work. It is a true documentation of their sound with album-quality fidelity and live performance. And I’m not going to take away from the dream-state sway beginnings of “Gethsemane” or Amos‘ drumming on “Cremation Ghat I” or the texture Trotter seamlessly weaves into the songs via keyboard throughout, but even on Om‘s earlier albums, when it was just bass/drums/vocals and so each of those elements was all the more showcased, I don’t know if the bass ever sounded so rich. If they put it out as an isolated track on its own — a bonus download or “dubplate” or whatever — I’d buy it happily. I mean it.

om

Opening with “Gethsemane” leads the way down the path. Its beginning is like a guided breathing exercise to clear the mind, and what unfolds from there in the wash of crash cymbals, the ping of ride, the pop of snare, the softly flowing bassline and the chant-like keyboard ahead of the first verse is duly immersive. Cisneros‘ voice arrives like a pilgrim one might meet in the wilderness, some kind of spiritual seeker who knows the place, can show the way toward safe passage while telling you stories that happen in dimensions most people can’t perceive. So you set off. Amos‘ drums are the footsteps, Trotter‘s keys the ground, and “Gethsemane” is both journey and destination. At 11 minutes, it’s both opener and longest inclusion (immediate points) on BBC Radio 1, and its sense of grace isn’t to be understated, nor the fluidity with which it feeds into “State of Non-Return,” which at 8:22 is two minutes longer than on Advaitic Songs, but still unfurls the aforementioned distortion about 45 seconds into the proceedings. Not to put too fine a point on it, but if they wanted to make the song last another 10 minutes, that’d be welcome as well. If it’s two, okay. I’ll take that.

Though it’s shorter than “Gethsemane” and backed up by “Cremation Ghat I” and “Cremation Ghat II,” “State of Non-Return” is an obvious focal point on BBC Radio 1 for its shift in tone and relative rhythmic push. Even putting aside the glorious rumble of Cisneros‘ making, it radiates energy as delivered here and presents a subtle momentum leading out of the first 10″ and en route to the second, which houses the final two tracks, one per side. “Cremation Ghat I” holds some of the momentum forth in Amos‘ drumming and the winding bassline that accompanies, but its run is brief at 3:51 and mostly instrumental, so the vibe has shifted accordingly, as, one supposes, it would have to. This leads to the drone-backed “Cremation Ghat II,” longer at 5:37, which closes out in perhaps giving some sense of arrival at the place to which the beginning of “Gethsemane” was setting off. Maybe (definitely) that’s putting too simplistic a narrative to it, and maybe the journey and destination are the same thing. I wouldn’t know. Maybe the sense of “going somewhere” is wrong altogether and the point is to be still.

But take from it either way that especially for a live recording, BBC Radio 1 is evocative in a way that allows for these kinds of varying interpretations. Certainly one would expect that the BBC knows what it’s doing in capturing a band playing, but it’s worth emphasizing this isn’t just performance-to-tape. It’s museum-quality. It’s a document of Om in 2019 and, for anyone who may have needed it, an underscore to the effect the band have had on the course of heavy over this decade which, one assumes, will only continue to spread into the next. Advaitic Songs is long since due for a follow-up, but BBC Radio 1 earns its place in Om‘s pantheon through its methodical, patient and serene atmosphere, showcasing Om as a band of singular, unmatched resonance. Recommended.

Om on Thee Facebooks

Om on Bandcamp

Om website

Drag City website

Drag City on Thee Facebooks

Drag City on Bandcamp

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When the Deadbolt Breaks & Red Mesa Touring Next Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 11th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

You’re probably doing something right when your tour starts at the SX Stoner Jam, which has something like 150 bands on the lineup and will no doubt be the kind of thing that 10 years from now people who were fortunate enough to be there will still be talking about. I mean that. But for Red Mesa and When the Deadbolt Breaks, both supporting releases on Desert Records, it’s just the beginning. They’ll go from Austin to Houston and then kick around the Southwest and the mountains for a 10-day run that unless I’m mistaken marks the Connecticut-based Deadbolt‘s first time out toward West Coast. I could be wrong about that — they’ve got some history at this point — but I’m reasonably certain.

Either way, a lot of the difference between the two bands can be seen in the photos below. Red Mesa are the dudes in the desert, sunglasses on, having a good time. When the Deadbolt Breaks are framed by eerie light in the woods, hands in pockets, staring downhill at whatever it is they might be threatening. Those should be some good shows.

Dates came down the PR wire:

red mesa

when the deadbolt breaks

When The Deadbolt Breaks and Red Mesa announce ‘Path of the Heavy’ tour!

When The Deadbolt Breaks (Psychedelic Doom) and Red Mesa (Desert Rock) have announced a tour together centered around their appearances at Austin’s STONER JAM ’19 on March 14th.

WTDB will be touring in support of their sixth studio album, “Angels are weeping…God has abandoned”. Red Mesa will be touring in support of their second studio album, “The Devil and The Desert”. Both band’s albums were released on the new Albuquerque based record label, Desert Records.

Tour Dates:
March 14th – Austin, TX Stoner Jam ’19 Festival @ Spider House Cafe and Ballroom
March 15th – Houston, TX @ Rudyards British Pub
March 16th – OKC @ Your Mom’s Place
March 17th – Wichita, KS @ Elbow Room
March 18th – OFF
March 19th – Colorado Springs, CO @ Bar-K
March 20th – Denver, CO @ TBA
March 21st – Albuquerque, NM
March 22nd – Phoenix, AZ @ Time Out Lounge
March 23rd – TBA

https://www.facebook.com/WhentheDeadboltBreaks/
https://whenthedeadboltbreaks.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/redmesaband/
https://redmesarock.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/desertrecordlabel/

When the Deadbolt Breaks, Angels are Weeping… God Has Abandoned… (2018)

Red Mesa, The Devil and the Desert (2018)

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