On Thorns I Lay Post Lyric Video for “Aegean Sorrow”; New Album out March 12

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 3rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

on thorns i lay

Following an absence of some 12 years, Athens-based outfit On Thorns I Lay returned in 2015 with their seventh album, Eternal Silence. Following behind 2003’s Egocentric, it marked a significant change in style — essentially a goth-death/doom revamp of what had become more of a hard rock approach over time born out of the band’s initial extremity of form in the 1990s. Think of the progressions of groups like Paradise LostAnathema and Katatonia and you’ll probably have some idea, but with On Thorns I LayEgocentric was more straightforward hard rock, even if cuts like “When I’m Gone” retained some darker edge.

Well, Eternal Silence had no shortage of ‘dark edge’ to it either, but turned the execution on its head with a theatrical blend of melodic and growled vocals. The six-piece’s new offering, Aegean Sorrow, would seem on the impression given by its title-track to be pushing further in that direction as well. I have been and I suspect will always remain a sucker for really well done death metal growls, and those of frontman Stefanos Kintzoglou are particularly choice, and it’s worth noting that the cleaner-toned voice of Eternal Silence seems at least to be sitting this track out. I haven’t heard the entirety of Aegean Sorrow, so can’t comment on whether or not that’s the case for the whole record, but the choice puts On Thorns I Lay squarely in death/doom territory and at least going by these nine minutes — which still feature a piano-led break near the middle — they seem just fine with that.

In any case, it’s some pretty wrenching stuff. Probably won’t be for everyone, but especially in the darkness of January at the outset of a New Year, it hits a downer sweet spot. Aegean Sorrow is out March 12 via Alone Records and The Vinyl Division. Check out the track below, followed by more info from the PR wire.

Enjoy:

On Thorns I Lay, “Aegean Sorrow” lyric video

Greek doom/death classic outfit On Thorns I Lay have just unveiled the first lyric video from their upcoming Aegean Sorrow, out next March 12th, 2018 on cd by Alone Records and limited vinyl version by The Vinyl Division.

“Aegean Sorrow” is the track opening the album, showing in almost nine minutes the band still have much to offer to the metal scene. The video concept was created and edited by Manthos Stergiou for Manster Design.

On Thorns I Lay is:
Stefanos Kintzoglou – VOX
Chris Dragamestianos – GUITARS
Antony – KEYBOARDS
Fotis Hondroudakis – DRUMS
Akis Pastras – GUITARS
Jim Ramses – BASS

On Thorns I Lay on Thee Facebooks

On Thorns I Lay on Instagram

Alone Records on Thee Facebooks

The Vinyl Division on Thee Facebooks

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Quarterly Review: 40 Watt Sun, Worm Ouroboros, The Heads, Jason Simon, Danava, Pylar, Domkraft, Picaporters, Deamon’s Child, Fungal Abyss

Posted in Reviews on December 30th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk winter quarterly review

We press on with the Quarterly Review and writeups #41-50 of the total 60 to be featured. Some considerable names in this batch, as I suppose there have been all along, but one of the functions this feature has come to serve is to allow me a space to offer some comment on bigger records that, let’s be frank, are being covered everywhere in the universe, while fleshing out coverage elsewhere of things like bands’ debuts and some other less-ubiquitous offerings. That’s become the idea anyway. Doesn’t always go like that, but it’s kind of a relief to have somewhere I can put the extra 200 reviews per year rather than miss out. We’ll wrap this one up on Monday, but just because it’s the end of the week and because it’s my general sentiment, thanks for reading.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

40 Watt Sun, Wider than the Sky

40 watt sun wider than the sky

With their second album, the awaited Wider than the Sky, London’s 40 Watt Sun continue to be defined by their depressive expressionism. The six-track/62-minute follow-up to 2011’s The Inside Room (review here) finds guitarist/vocalist Patrick Walker (ex-Warning), bassist William Spong and drummer Christian Leitch opening with the longest inclusion (immediate points) in the gorgeously mournful 16-minute unfolding of “Stages.” Sonically lush but still somehow raw and minimal in its emotionality, a slow drear sets the tone for what will follow in “Beyond You” and “Another Room,” “Pictures and “Craven Road,” which alternate on either side of the 10-minute mark until closer “Marazion” (3:57) seems to resonate a less-hopeless spirit. More than The Inside Room, Wider than the Sky realizes itself in emotional rather than tonal weight, and while one often identifies these feelings with things cold and grey, it would require a willful blindness not to recognize the humanity and warmth coming through in Walker’s delivery of this material. Wide it may be, but not at all distant.

40 Watt Sun on Thee Facebooks

40 Watt Sun website

 

Worm Ouroboros, What Graceless Dawn

worm ouroboros what graceless dawn

The duality of Worm Ouroboros’ third album for Profound Lore, What Graceless Dawn, is almost as prevalent as the irony that its title should include the word “graceless” when the 63-minute six-tracker itself is so melodically poised. It’s dark, but hopeful, spacious and compact, challenging but simply and often minimally arranged, patient and emotionally intense, and heavy even as it seems to float from one extended piece to the next on a current of intertwining, nigh-operatic vocals from bassist Lorraine Rath (ex-Amber Asylum) and guitarist Jessica Way (World Eater) while Aesop Dekker (Agalloch, Vhöl) seems just as comfortable in the quiet midsection stretch of 13-minute centerpiece “Ribbon of Shadow” as in the rumbling payoff of “Suffering Tree” just before. Running from opener “Day” to closer “Night,” What Graceless Dawn is nothing if not coherent, and while the band’s core approach has been largely consistent across their 2010 self-titled debut (review here) and 2012’s Come the Thaw, the Bay Area trio maintain a clear commitment to forward-moving artistry that stirs the consciousness.

Worm Ouroboros on Thee Facebooks

Profound Lore Records website

 

The Heads, Burning up With: Live at Roadburn 2015

the heads burning up with

I was fortunate enough to be there when UK heavy psych legends The Heads played the Main Stage set at Roadburn 2015 captured on the Burning World Records release Burning up With…, and indeed the preservation of the band’s utter liquefaction of that large room is well worth preserving across the four sides of a double-LP. The only drawback to a vinyl version of their set is that while the individual songs are presented as side-consuming medleys – “Cardinal Fuzz/KRT,” “Gnu/Legevaan Sattelite/U33,” and so on – that still requires some measure of break to flip from one to the next, whereas in the all-at-once linearity of a CD or digital listen, one finds the overwhelming lysergic proceedings intact as they were from the stage, gloriously molten and entrancingly jammed out by the longtime masters of the form. I won’t even attempt to give its spaciousness a proper assessment since just about anything The Heads do is a gift defying impartiality, especially something like this, but yeah, get on it.

The Heads on Thee Facebooks

Burning World Records website

 

Jason Simon, Familiar Haunts

jason simon familiar haunts

Back in 2010, Dead Meadow frontman Jason Simon released an eponymous solo debut on Tee Pee that found him working in a folkish sphere, and his six-years-later follow-up, Familiar Haunts (on Tekeli-Li, Cardinal Fuzz, Burger Records and Blind Blind Tiger), has some of those elements as well on the twanging, finger-plucking “Pretty Polly” and subdued strum of “Seven Sisters of Sleep,” but Simon has also assembled a four-piece band here, and from the pickup of opener “The People Dance, the People Sing,” through the fuzz experimentalism of “Now I’m Telling You” and the airy linear build of the penultimate 11-minute highlight “Wheels Will Spin,” there’s no lack of fullness in the sound. One finds a particularly engaging blend on “Hills of Mexico,” a six-minute rambler that fluidly brings together neofolk and desert ambience, though as Simon and company play sounds off each other in this material, “engaging blend” would seem to be the underlying theme of Familiar Haunts as a whole.

Jason Simon on Bandcamp

Cardinal Fuzz Records

 

Danava, At Midnight You Die

danava at midnight you die

Over a decade removed from their 2006 self-titled debut and five years past their third album, 2011’s Hemisphere of Shadows, one might easily argue that Portland, Oregon’s Danava are due for a full-length release. Sure, the band led by guitarist/vocalist Gregory Meleny have toured plenty in that time in the US and abroad, put out splits and so on, and that has consistently and organically grown their fanbase. Sating that fanbase would seem to be the motivation behind the two-song 7” At Midnight You Die (on Tee Pee), on which the titular A-side finds the four-piece making the most of their dual guitars – Meleny and Pete Hughes (Sons of Huns) shredding in proto-NWOBHM fashion – while the B-side takes on the bizarre and foreboding folk ambience of “My Spirit Runs Free,” short at three minutes, acoustic and sourced from 1979’s The Capture of Bigfoot. So yeah, it’s like that. No new record, but a ripper and some delightful weirdness on hand, and I suspect at this point many of their followers will take what they can get.

Danava on Thee Facebooks

Danava at Tee Pee Records

 

Pylar, Pyedra

pylar pyedra

Some bands are just on their own wavelength, and as much as one might be tempted to relate Sevilla’s Pylar to SunnO))) with their robes and their drones, the Spanish troupe’s four-track full-length, Pyedra (on Alone Records), sees them emitting a slew of horrors all their own. Working as a five-piece, Pylar open with “Menga” (10:57), their longest cut (immediate points) and establish a basis of amelodic, largely arrhythmic noise-jazz. There are more straightforward currents in the subsequent rumble and roll of “Megalitos” (10:33), and “Menhir” (9:37) would seem to draw both sides together before “Meteoros” (9:07) rounds out with an airy, horn-topped alternate-universe victory, but the whole of Pyedra remains informed by the way-off-kilter challenge it poses at the outset, and part of the thrill is making your way through with no idea of what’s coming next other than another extended song beginning with the letter ‘m.’ Will be too much for some, but Pylar’s bleak experimentalism assures cultish appeal worthy of those robes the band wears.

Pylar on Bandcamp

Pylar at Alone Records

 

Domkraft, The End of Electricity

domkraft the end of electricity

Proliferating a combination of speaker-punishing low-end riffs and post-rock-derived spaciousness, Swedish trio Domkraft debut on Magnetic Eye Records with the wholesale immersion of The End of Electricity and evoke heft no less substantial than their stated theme. They begin with their two longest tracks (which I guess is double points?) in “The Rift” and “Meltdown of the Orb,” and by the time they’re through them, bassist/vocalist Martin Wegeland, guitarist Martin Widholm and drummer Anders Dahlgren have already doled out a full LP’s worth of nod, which would seem to make what follows after the momentary breather of “Drones” in “Red Lead,” “All Come Hither” the shorter “Dustrider” and closer “We Will Follow” a bonus round – in which Domkraft also dominate. Because its heavy is so heavy and because Wegeland’s vocals arrive across the board as far-back, shouted echoes, it’s easy to lose sight of the ambience that goes with all that roll, but what ultimately gives The End of Electricity such character is that it creates as much of a world as it destroys.

Domkraft on Thee Facebooks

Magnetic Eye Records on Bandcamp

 

Picaporters, El Horror Oculto

picaporters el horror oculto

Back in 2013, Buenos Aires outfit Picaporters made an encouraging debut with Elefantes (review here). They’ve teased the follow-up, El Horror Oculto (on South American Sludge), over the last year-plus with several digital singles, but the album’s arrival hits with a distinct fleshing out of atmosphere, as heard on the grueling second cut “Diferentes Formas de Ostras” or the manner in which the centerpiece title-track departs from its raucous opening into a heavy-psychedelic meander, never to return, feeding off of the structure of “Humo Ancestral” directly before. An interlude “Etude 6” leads into the opening drift of “Ra,” but it’s a ruse as Picaporters offer some of the album’s most driving heavy rock in that cut’s second half, and close out with Sabbath-darkness-via-Zeppelin-noodling on “War is Over,” the trio coming together in a molten psychedelic doom that seems to draw from the various sides they’ve shown throughout without losing sight of pushing further in its summary.

Picaporters on Thee Facebooks

South American Sludge Records on Thee Facebooks

 

Deamon’s Child, Scherben Müssen Sein

deamon's child scherben mussen sein

It would be a mistake to judge Deamon’s Child’s second full-length, Scherben Müssen Sein (on Zygmatron), by any single one of its tracks, as the German trio makes plain in the dramatic shift from the crushing sludge of “Zucker” into the raw punk thrust of the subsequent “Keine Zeit.” Elsewhere, they find funky footing before punking out once again in “Schweinehund, Kimm Tanz Mit Mir!” and rumble the outing to a finish consuming in its largesse on the 10-minute “Nichts,” so yes, as they follow-up their 2014 self-titled debut (review here), Deamon’s Child hold fast to the sense of the unhinged proffered therein while uniting their material through an intensity that comes across regardless of tempo or surrounding purpose. They are on the beat, not behind it, pushing forward always. That can make Scherben Müssen Sein difficult to keep track of as it moves swiftly through the blast of “Monster” and the manipulated samples of “In Kinderschuhen” toward that finale, but the mission here is far, far away from easy listening, so all the better.

Deamon’s Child on Thee Facebooks

Deamon’s Child on Bandcamp

 

Fungal Abyss, Bardo Abgrund Temple

fungal abyss bardo abgrund temple

Adansonia Records offers a bonus-track-laden revisit of the 2011 debut release, Bardo Abgrund Temple, from Seattle shroom-jammers Fungal Abyss, whose improvisational sensibility comes through the original four extended cuts with no diminishing of their otherworldly trip-out for the half-decade that’s passed since they first surfaced. Those looking for a US counterpart to European psych-improv outfits like Electric Moon or Øresund Space Collective – i.e., me – would do well to dig into opener “Arc of the Covenant” (20:12) or closer “Fungal DeBrist” (24:07) as a lead-in for the earlier-2016 follow-up, Karma Suture (review here), as well as their companion live outings, but whatever contextual approach a listener might want to take, the instrumental stretch of Bardo Abgrund Temple is a serenely heavy and meandering path to walk, given to bouts of space-rock thrust and long passages of low-end droner nod, as heard on the 10-minute “Timewave Zero,” turned on and duly ritualized in its swirl and far-off vocalizations. A reissue well-earned of a gracefully cosmic debut.

Fungal Abyss on Thee Facebooks

Adansonia Records on Thee Facebooks

 

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Pylar to Release Pyedra Nov. 2; Preorders Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 29th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

pylar-700

Three years after making their full-length debut with Poderoso Se Alza en My (review here) and one year after the follow-up He Venydo a Reclamar My Trono, the offshoot project Pylar from members of Orthodox and Blooming Látigo mark a return with Pyedra, due out Nov. 2 on Alone Records and available now to preorder. The band has a teaser for the album posted on the TubesofYou that as you can see/hear below offers suitably bizarre and ritualized vibes. I apparently completely missed out on the second record — hey, it happens; I’m only one dude and last year was, to be generous, a shitshow — but the new one is something to look forward to and I’ve still got some time to dig in before November, so if you need me I’ll be getting on that.

Info comes courtesy of the PR wire:

pylar pyedra-700

PYLAR new album PYEDRA

After two albums and an EP highly acclaimed by critics and reviewers, PYLAR are back with their new album entitled PYEDRA, to be released November 2nd through Alone Records, featuring four tracks dedicated to the stone as a cosmic symbol of megalithic cultures. Those civilisations used big stones (megaliths) to raise their temples, tombs and paths.

PYLAR was formed in 2012 with members of Blooming Latigo and former components of Orthodox but it is still uncertain who is behind this enigmatic project inspired by prehistoric religions and the occult, hiding their faces behind masks and ceremonial clothing.

PYLAR are nourished from the echoes of big stones received in the atavistic depth of the dolmen and tell stories in arcane tongues for us to remember the one route to confront cosmic terror is transcending Death through the Holy Black Stone: Mother Goddess, the centerpiece of Earth and pilar of existence.

PYLAR evoke the power of stone through monolithic guitars and tectonic drums. The stone as a testament to the timelessness, laden with nuances and expressed in the form of strings and numinous winds increasing the intensity beyond logic and sanity. Chants speaking of menhirs, metheors and monoliths opening the gate to a time when space and death were one, symbolized by the power and strength of megaliths, where ancient gods shall dwell in eternal gravity and stillness.

PYEDRA will be released in November 2nd, Day of the Ancient Spirits, celebrated after the Feast of Samhain and the rise of the Darkened Moon, second to last of the year, for we go deep into the Dark Season, where spirits from ancient stones dwell.

The album is available for preorder on CD and vinyl format at The Stone Circle at reduced price. Vinyl version is strictly limited to 200 copies on Black vinyl and just 100 units in Yellow colour. A first teaser can be found at Youtube.

https://www.facebook.com/PPYLARR/
http://pylartheband.blogspot.com.es/
https://www.facebook.com/alonerecords.spain/
http://www.the-stone-circle.com/store/en/

Pylar, Pyedra teaser

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The Soulbreaker Company Announce New Album La Lucha

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 28th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

La Lucha is LP number five from Spanish prog-psych explorers The Soulbreaker Company, and it’s out Sept. 23 on Alone Records. They have the new song “The Kid out of this Land” streaming now from the album, and its synth-laden scope and somewhat foreboding riff are telling particularly in light of the fact that it closes the album. An easy-rolling groove emerges behind a manic guitar solo as it moves toward the halfway point of its 7:28 run, but the prevailing spirit is languid and open, and it would seem that time has loosened the band up somewhat, at least in this context. How it might work out on the rest of the record is of course still unknown.

Preorders are up now from the label, at the store link below. The PR wire had this to say about it:

the soulbreaker company la lucha

THE SOULBREAKER COMPANY “LA LUCHA” CD | LP

Fifth album by the Spanish psych rock band The Soulbreaker Company, recorded at Toy Box Studios in Bristol by Stef Hambrook, mixed at Louder Studios in California by Tim Green (Melvins, Six Organs Of Admittance, Comets On Fire…) and mastered by Noel Summerville (Napalm Death, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats).

The band states: “it reflects all the influences that have marked our history as a band, from heavy to pop, fuzz and psycho with a heavy sound that also shines on clean tunes. Writing and recording was a calm and relaxed process so we had the time to think which tracks to include. We believe it is our most sincere and unpretentious album”.

La Lucha will be released on jewelcase CD and single Gatefold LP, limited to 300 copies on black vinyl and 200 copies on crystal clear colour.

The closing track of the album is entitled “The Kid Out Of This Land” and you can check it on YouTube.

Official release date is set for September 23rd.

https://www.facebook.com/thesoulbreakercompany/
https://www.facebook.com/alonerecords.spain/
http://www.thestonecirclestore.com/

The Soulbreaker Company, “The Kid out of this Land”

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Orthodox: New Album Axis Available to Preorder

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 26th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

orthodox

Change has been one of very few constants in the career thus far of Spanish experimental doomers Orthodox. After releasing a 7″ this summer for the track “Crown for a Mole” that also marked their debut as a two-piece while coinciding with a handful of tour dates alongside High on Fire, the Sevilla outfit have made their new long-player available to preorder through Alone Records. It will be their first full-length release since Baal (review here) came out in 2011, the band having offered up a few demos and a B-sides collection in addition to the single in the interim.

When it comes to Orthodox, one never really knows what to expect, so I won’t speculate as to whether or not “Crown for a Mole” speaks to the entirety of Axis, which will be the title of their fifth record, but the album is available to preorder now, so we’ll all find out sooner or later anyway. Info came down the PR wire thusly:

orthodox axis

ORTHODOX. New album ‘Axis’ – PRE-ORDER now!

Recently reformed as duo, with Marco Serrato (bass, vocals) and Borja Díaz (Drums), ORTHODOX are coming back with a new studio album.

The duo emerges now performing with different guests musicians on studio sessions, developing a new form of contemporary heavy metal meets extreme jazz meets doom, like no one. New tracks show more ‘straight forward’ concept on composing process. But this is just NOW, as ORTHODOX never compromises with certain sound or ‘song concept’ for so long.

So ‘Axis’ came from such different studio sessions, with a more straight and focus punch of avant-garde approach mixed through heavy metal as only Orthodox are re-doing in every new album.

‘Crown for a Mole’ is the first single, taken from the new album.

BIO:
Orthodox is a duo from Seville, Spain playing experimental doom metal inspired by religious folklore and even jazz. A music based on hypnotic repetitions of quasi-mystical
intensity and slow, torpid rhythms befitting people from a city of crushing summer heat. Musical influences from Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd or Melvins mixed with their peculiar perception of Southern Spain folklore.

https://www.facebook.com/orthodoxband/
http://orthodoxband.bandcamp.com/
www.thestonecirclestore.com

Orthodox, “Crown for a Mole”

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Orthodox to Release New 7″ in June; Tour Dates with High on Fire

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 30th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

orthodox

Always fascinating, always experimental doomers Orthodox are now a duo and will release a new single, Crown for a Mole, in June via Alone Records as a herald for their upcoming full-length, Axis, which is due out later this year. Also in June, Orthodox will take the stage alongside High on Fire for three shows on the latter’s upcoming European run, which, if you’re going to put out a new 7″ is probably a good way to make sure copies of the thing go.

The PR wire tells the tale and has the preorder link for the single, of which you can also hear the titular cut below:

orthodox crown for a mole

ORTHODOX. New album & New 7″ available on pre-order.

Recently reformed as duo, with Marco Serrato (bass, vocals) and Borja Díaz (Drums), ORTHODOX are coming back.

The duo now emerges performing with different guests musicians on studio sessions, developing a new form of contemporary heavy metal meets extreme jazz meets doom, like no one. New tracks show more ‘straight forward’ concept on composing process. But this is just NOW, as ORTHODOX never compromises with certain sound or ‘song concept’ for so long.
‘Crown for a Mole’ is the first single, taken from the new album called ‘Axis’. Band is currently busy on recording sessions. A tentative release date for ‘Axis’ is planned for late September this year.

There´s a pre-order already available for the ‘Crown for a Mole’ 2-track 7″ (one time pressing of 300 units, 200 black and 100 colour vinyl), including bundle offers for an excellent price of 14,99 eur. Very limited bundle offer up to 50 pieces. Check out our mail order store for more info and direct purchase. This single will be officially released on June 29th, and available on the upcoming spanish tour with High on Fire. Visit Alone Records site for further info.

Alone Records is now celebrating 15 years of stoner, rock, doom… and whatever you want to call it which give us full pleasure now and then. Join us!

Orthodox Tour Dates:
25/6 – Málaga
26/6 – Alicante
27/6 – Jaén (TBC)
28/6 – Bilbao w/ High on Fire
29/6 – Madrid w/ High on Fire
30/6 – BCN w/ High on Fire

https://www.facebook.com/orthodoxband
http://orthodoxband.bandcamp.com/
http://www.the-stone-circle.com/

Orthodox, “Crown for a Mole”

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On Wax: Yawning Sons, Ceremony to the Sunset

Posted in On Wax on January 22nd, 2015 by JJ Koczan

yawning-sons-ceremony-to-the-sunset-cover-and-lp

Oh, I love this album. I really do. Quite frankly, I consider it a treat to even be writing about it again. From Wendy Rae Fowler singing about how she lost her heart at Wounded Knee on “Ghostship – Deadwater” to Mario Lalli stepping in for a croon on “Meadows,” the instrumental depth brought to “Tomahawk Watercress” and “Wetlands” by Yawning Man‘s Gary Arce and UK atmospheric heavy rockers Sons of Alpha Centauri, and Scott Reeder‘s layered harmonies on “Garden Sessions III” — the echoes of “waves on a distant shore” feature in my mental jukebox regularly — Yawning Sons‘ 2009 debut, Ceremony to the Sunset (review here), is among the most beautiful executions of heavy psychedelia I’ve ever heard. And the only reason I call it a “debut” instead of “only album” — they also have a split out with WaterWays, another Arce-inclusive project — is because no small part of me is still hoping for a follow-up at some point even six years later. It’s not impossible. This is an album that has kept me warm in winter, has soundtracked summer nights and has come with me on every significant bit of travel I’ve undertaken since its release. I think of it as an “airplane” album, because if I’m going to crash out of the sky and fall 35,000 feet to my demise, it’s I want to have the chance to be listening to it as I go down. No bullshit.

yawning-sons-ceremony-to-the-sunset-front-coverAlone Records has seen fit to reissue Ceremony to the Sunset, giving the album its first vinyl release after the original CD version came out via Cobraside in the US and Lexicon Devil in Australia. The pressing is 500 copies in translucent red, orange or yellow (I got yellow and it doesn’t look like it lets light through in the pics above because of the white background, but it does). It comes in a gatefold with a reworked cover no less suited to the spaciousness conjured throughout the record by Arce and Sons of Alpha Centauri — the lineup of guitarist Marlon King, bassist Nick Hannon, texturist Blake and drummer Stevie B. is the same now as it was then — and it’s even more distinguished from the original offering by the inclusion of closer “Shores of Desolation,” an instrumental added to the back of side B that was tracked during the initial sessions in the UK and never released. While Alone pretty much had me at the word “go” on a reissue for Ceremony to the Sunset, I will say that the chance to hear a piece of music yet-unissued from this collaboration added significant appeal to the thought of giving the record a revisit. And no regrets. Blake must feature heavily on a song so textured, and sweet-toned guitar feedback is used to bring out further waves of melody before a final fadeout and back in and back out ends the new version of the album on a contemplative, sans-drums note following the bounce of “Japanese Garden.” Somewhat similar to “Whales in Tar,” but with a more foreboding undertone.

Since I usually put on Ceremony to the Sunset for a front-to-back listen, the vinyl does change the dynamic with two sides, and in that, “Shores of Desolation” serves a secondary function in evening out the halves. I hadn’t thought of “Meadows” as an opener,yawning-sons-ceremony-to-the-sunset-gatefold but it works well to start off side B after the flip, regrounding the proceedings after the three instrumentals “Tomahawk Watercress,” “Wetlands” and “Whales in Tar” appear in succession following album-opener “Ghostship – Deadwater” on side A. That track and “Tomahawk Watercress” continue to provide a tonal bliss that is largely unmatched in desert rock, Arce and King weaving guitar lines around each other while Hannon‘s bass and Stevie‘s drums give them a foundation on which to play out the memorable progression, descending and wistful. “Wetlands” brings the drums more forward, as does “Japanese Garden,” Yawning Sons‘ original closer, and like “Ghostship – Deadwater” and “Meadows” mirror each other as eight-minute side-starters, so too do “Whales in Tar” and “Shores of Desolation” work in conversation to end each half. I’ll make no attempt to hide my appreciation for Reeder‘s vocals on “Garden Sessions III,” but the guitar movement he tops is accordingly lush and open-spaced, relieving the almost-tense buildup that follows Lalli‘s guest spot on “Meadows.” Even with the rush of underlying percussion, it is a song to drift away by, and Reeder‘s voice is the tidal pull that carries you off. A one-man Beach Boys. Brilliant.

Granted I’m hardly impartial, but I can’t imagine that if you haven’t heard Ceremony to the Sunset before that the vinyl edition of it won’t grab you with its atmospherics and hooks both vocal an instrumental. In the history of desert rock, it’s probably a footnote, but for me it’s a landmark and an album that I’ve spent six years with at this point and found only a richer experience as time has passed. If Alone‘s reissue gets more people to hear it, or if those who appreciated it before have another excuse to take it on again and hear it in a different way, then all the better. Maybe one of these days Arce and Sons of Alpha Centauri can get together again and make a follow-up. Here’s hoping.

Yawning Sons, “Shores of Desolation”

Yawning Sons on Thee Facebooks

Sons of Alpha Centauri on Thee Facebooks

Yawning Man on Thee Facebooks

Alone Records

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Orthodox and Dead Neanderthals Touring in January

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 30th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

orthodox (Photo by Javier Rosa)

Spanish avant doom duo Orthodox are preparing to start 2015 by hitting the road in their native country and Portugal with UK/Netherlands-based Dead Neanderthals, who’ve already followed up their 2014 single-song long-player, Prime, with an EP charmingly titled Random Acts of Nuclear Devastation. The two will kick off the five-date run on Jan. 27 and finish in Sevilla right before Feb. hits.

The PR wire affirms the stint and offers background:

orthodox dead neanderthals tour

ORTHODOX / DEAD NEANDERTHALS – Spain/Portugal Tour 2015

Orthodox was born as a trio in Seville (Spain) in 2004. Their music, initially framed in the so called “doom metal”, incorporates elements of drone, jazz or stoner rock. They’ve played at international festivals such as Hellfest, Roadburn, Supersonic or Primavera Sound and they have collaborated with artists such as the musician and writer Julian Cope or flamenco artists like Israel Galván, Terremoto or Inés Bacán.

Orthodox accumulate an extensive discography with four albums and other ep’s, cassettes, etc… Their last edition, “Conoce los caminos”, is a compilation of rare material from 2005 to 2010. They’re currently working as a duo open to all kinds of collaborations and experiments following the eclectic and unpredictable nature that has always been part of the band’s idiosyncrasy.

Orthodox music & merch at our store, click here!

Dead Neanderthals is a Dutch/UK based double sax & drums trio incorporating elements from jazz, grindcore, drone and noise culminating in a pummeling sound that has been described as Painkiller meets Brötzmann.

Dead Neanderthals just released their new album PRIME, heralded as their “ultimate statement” and “a wake-up call to anyone who thought free jazz was a dying art”. PRIME is a single, unrelenting 40-minute piece, with no “solos” or soothing interludes. Dead Neanderthals will perform the album in its entirety.

Dead Neanderthals’ music & merch at https://deadneanderthals.bandcamp.com

tues. 27/01 – Bilbao @ Sentinel Rockclub
wedn. 28/01 – Pontevedra @ Liceo Mutante
thursd. 29/01 – Porto @ Cave 45
frid. 30/01 – Madrid @ El Juglar
sat. 31/01 – Sevilla @ Fun Club

https://www.facebook.com/orthodoxband
https://www.facebook.com/DEADNEANDERTHALS
http://deadneanderthals.wordpress.com/
www.the-stone-circle.com
www.the-stone-circle.com/store

Dead Neanderthals, Random Acts of Nuclear Devastation (2014)

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