Quarterly Review: Blood of the Sun, Evoken, IAH, Asylum, Merlin, The Hazytones, Daily Thompson, Old Man Lizard, Tuskar, Space Coke

Posted in Reviews on December 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

I had to think long and hard just now about what day it is. It’s Tuesday. — See how confident I was in saying that? A mask for insecurity, as always.

Anyway, the QR continues today with 10 more records and a pretty solid mix of whatnot. Some of this I’ve written about before here, but basically want to have another shot at the records themselves, so as we wind down 2018, it seems like the time to do that is now. As always, I hope you find something you dig. Seems pretty likely, frankly. If you go the entire 100 records with nothing but a “meh” to show for it, the problem isn’t likely to be the records. Not trying to insinuate anything, I’m just saying. 100 records is a lot. 10 records is a lot. And that’s what we’re doing today, so let’s get going.

Quarterly Review #61-70:

Blood of the Sun, Blood’s Thicker than Love

blood of the sun bloods thicker than love

Drummer Henry Vasquez (also Saint Vitus) returns to his ultra-Texan heavy rock roots with Blood of the Sun‘s first album in six years, Blood’s Thicker than Love (on Listenable). Driven by his own fervent rhythmic push, the six-song collection is given further classic heavy vibe through the prominent organ/keyboard work of Dave Gryder. Oh, and also the riffs from newcomer guitarists Wyatt Burton and Alex Johnson. Oh, and also bassist Roger “Kip” Yma‘s quick turns on bass. Oh, and also Sean Vargas‘ vocals. So yeah, pretty much the whole damn thing is classic uptempo heavy boogie, produced modern but making no mistake about where its heart lies. Vargas‘ voice has a pre-metal swagger that helps define tracks like “Livin’ for the Night” and the capper “Blood of the Road,” and while the follow-up to 2012’s Burning on the Wings of Desire (review here) is enough to make one wistful for the days when their contemporaries in Dixie Witch once also roamed the land, Blood of the Sun make classic rock their own and give it a vibrancy that’s nothing if not a show of love, regardless of how thick that may be.

Blood of the Sun on Thee Facebooks

Listenable Records on Bandcamp

 

Evoken, Hypnagogia

evoken hypnogogia

Unremitting. Unrelenting. Unforgiving. Whatever else one might say about New Jersey death/doombringers Evoken, it better start with the prefix “un-.” The negativity runs through the 60 minutes of their latest work, Hypnagogia (on Profound Lore), and one would expect no less than the ultra-mournful crush of “To Feign Ebullience” or the buzzing, resonant disdain of “Valorous Consternation,” the string sounds playing such a large role in crafting both the melodies and the relentless nature of their lung-deflating atmosphere. They may only break into speedier sections on rare occasion, but there’s no way to listen to Hypnagogia and call it anything other than extreme metal. It’s so cast down and so grinding that it not only conveys mood but affects it. Evoken are masters of the form, of course, and while Hypnagogia is their first full-length since 2012’s Atra Mors (review here), their history spans more than a quarter-century and time seems only to have made their miseries plunge even deeper.

Evoken on Thee Facebooks

Profound Lore Records website

 

IAH, II

iah ii

In part, the gift that Argentinian trio IAH give with their aptly-titled second outing, II — following their 2017 self-titled debut EP (review here) — is to allow their parts to flesh out naturally across the six-song/38-minute span, so that even as second cut “HH” turns to more weighted chug, that in turn evolves into something no less spacious than the drift brought to bear in the second half of the later “La Niña del Rayo,” which makes its way ultimately through similar interplay. This back and forth is exceptionally smooth throughout II, as the instrumental outfit blend heavy psychedelia and progressive metal with an unflinching cohesion of their songwriting. The longest inclusion is the penultimate “Pri” at 7:35, which caps with massive start-stops en route to closer “Sheut,” which serves as one last showcase of the cosmic doom dynamic burgeoning in the band’s sound, as much ready to depart the earth as leave impact craters on it.

IAH on Thee Facebooks

IAH on Bandcamp

 

Asylum, 3-3-88

asylum 3-3-88

The band who a short time later would evolve into Unorthodox, Asylum have long stood as a testament to the enduring power of Maryland doom. 3-3-88 is the second official issue of their material Shadow Kingdom has stood behind, following 2008’s reissue of 1985’s The Earth is the Insane Asylum of the Universe (review here), and it’s no less a document of the classic metal that’s still very much the foundation of what Maryland doom is. From the Sabbathian opening of “World in Trouble” and the later “Psyche World” to the kind of feeling-out-the-riff happening in “Funk 69” and the concluding instrumental “Unorthodox,” there’s a rawness to the sound that suits it well in the spirit of Pentagram‘s First Daze Here, but even in barebones form, Asylum‘s doomly vibes brook no bullshit and weed out the feint of heart. Straightforward working-class doom grit stripped to its essentials. Hard to ask for anything more when you actually hear it.

Unorthodox on Thee Facebooks

Shadow Kingdom Records website

 

Merlin, Dank Souls and Dark Weed: A Live Experience

merlin dank souls and dark weed

Kansas City doom rockers Merlin expanded to a six-piece early in 2018, and Dank Souls and Dark Weed: A Live Experience, as the title hints, captures this form of the band on stage. They’re playing a hometown gig at the Riot Room, and from the nodding groove that opens with “Abyss” from this year’s The Wizard (review here) to the extended reaches of a 19-minute take on “Tales of the Wasteland” that’s actually shorter than the studio version from 2016’s Electric Children (review here), the band explore reaches that are vast with a patience befitting their quickly-earned veteran status. The recording is remarkably clear and allows for the wash of “The Wizard Suite” to be discernible in its progressive rollout, and as they close with “Night Creep” from the 2016 LP, their energy comes through no less prevalent than the distortion driving it forward. The crowd are right to holler.

Merlin on Thee Facebooks

Merlin on Bandcamp

 

The Hazytones, II: Monarchs of Oblivion

the hazytones ii monarchs of oblivion

Touching on garage-doom influences, Montreal three-piece The Hazytones effectively sleek into the groove of “The Great Illusion” on their second Ripple LP, II: Monarchs of Oblivion, finding a balance between swing, melody and heft that pushes beyond the seemingly-requisite Uncle Acid influence to a place that isn’t shy about working in crisp tones or unabashed vocal harmonies. The title-track is a two-parter, and touches on theatrics-sans-pretense in the first piece while dedicating the second to following a central riff well worthy of the attention they give it toward a galloping solo finish. Opener “Empty Space” sets a creper vibe, and by the time they’re down to finishing out with the “Hole in the Sky”-style riff of “The Hand that Feeds,” that sensibility is reaffirmed as an essential component of The Hazytones‘ aesthetic. Whether it’s the chugging “Hell” or the way-blown-out “The Beast,” they hold firm to that central purpose and work with it to effect a sound that one can hear becoming their own all the more.

The Hazytones on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Daily Thompson, Thirsty

daily thompson thirsty

Three albums in, Dortmund’s Daily Thompson indeed sound Thirsty — or maybe it’s hungry, but either way, the Dortmund trio’s MIG Music offering captures a tight presentation based around nonetheless natural energy born of their time on tour, as the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Danny Zaremba, bassist Mercedes, and drummer Stefan Mengel touch on Spidergawd-style classic heavy rock strut with “Brown Mountain Lights” and make their way through the semi-acoustic drift of “Stone Rose” and toward the later roll of “River Haze” with a trail of hooks behind them. Songwriting is central to what they do, but while Thirsty isn’t a minor undertaking at a CD-era reminiscent 10 songs/53 minutes, the band offer a chemistry between them and a fullness of sound that allows them to play to different sides of their approach, be it the fuzz-blues of “Gone Child” or the final summation “Spit out the Crap” that seems to shove all the more to its cymbal-wash finish. The title Thirsty brings to mind connotations of need, but Daily Thompson sound like they’ve got it all taken care of.

Daily Thompson on Thee Facebooks

MIG Music website

 

Old Man Lizard, True Misery

old man lizard true misery

A strong enough current of noise rock runs beneath Old Man Lizard‘s True Misery (on Wasted State) that leadoff track “Shark Attack” is enough to remind of Akimbo‘s Jersey Shores, and in under two minutes, the subsequent “Snakes” ties that into crawling-paced doom riffery such that the lumbering “Tree of Te?ne?re?” opens like the gaping jaws of some deep-sea trench. From there it unfolds a bit more uptempo than one might initially think, but it shows how fluidly Old Man Lizard shift from one impulse to the other. Accordingly, True Misery plays out with familiar-enough tones put to deceptively subtle and unpredictable purposes, making one-two highlights of the eight-minute back-to-backers “Cursed Ocean, Relentless Sea” and “Misery is Miserable” — which says it all, really — ahead of the finale, well titled “Return to Earth.” A better band than people know, Old Man Lizard bring a progressive touch to what from many others would just be sludge riffing — a bit of Elder on that closer — and manage to do so without losing touch with the righteousness of their groove. True Misery takes a couple listens to sink in, but well earns those and more besides.

Old Man Lizard on Thee Facebooks

Wasted State Records website

 

Tuskar, The Tide, Beneath, The Wall

tuskar the tide beneath the wall

Tuskar‘s second offering through Riff Rock Records arrives titled for its three songs, “The Tide,” “Beneath” and “The Wall,” and comprises three tracks of largesse-minded sludge, burying its shouted vocals beneath mountainous low end. The Tide, Beneath, The Wall sets itself up through noisy churn and a roll that’s somehow misanthropic at the same time it seems well geared to have an entire bar headbanging. Either way, the feedback-worship in “The Wall” — sure enough a massive thing to slam into — makes a fitting end to the 20-minute release that seems to run so much longer, as “The Tide” and “Beneath” each set forth a grueling sprawl of malevolence that touches on the chaos to come without ever fully giving away what’s in store for the finale. At the same time this assault is cast, there’s an atmosphere to the proceedings as well such that Tuskar aren’t simply bludgeoning for the sake of bludgeonry, but finding a place for themselves within that in order to develop their attack. They do that successfully here and sound well up to the inevitable task before them of a debut full-length.

Tuskar on Thee Facebooks

Riff Rock Records website

 

Space Coke, L’Appel du Vide

space coke lappel du vide

I just about never do this, but I’m gonna go ahead and make the call: Space Coke‘s L’Appel du Vide is going to get picked up for a vinyl release in 2019. I don’t know who, how or when, but it’s basically a lock. The Columbia, South Carolina, organ-laced four-piece play classic-as-now heavy rock with right-on songcraft and a hard-hitting presentation that’s begging for some label with ears to hear it and press it to the platter it deserves. Be it the molten unfolding of the title-track or the fuzz-swirl of “Thelemic Ritual” or the cosmic stretch of “Kali Ma,” they’re locked in to a degree that utterly defies the notion that this is their first record, and from the vocal-effects smash in “Lucid Dream” and the samples laid over-top of “Interlude,” there’s never really a sense of where Space Coke — extra kudos for the Cheech & Chong reference — might go next, and yet their sound is cohesive, directed, and well aware of exactly what it’s doing and what it wants to do. Never a guarantee of anything in this world, but with Space Coke‘s take on modern stoner sprawl, I’d be amazed if someone didn’t grab this in the New Year, if not before. Eyes peeled on the PR wire for the announcement.

Space Coke on Thee Facebooks

Space Coke on Bandcamp

 

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Quarterly Review: Sandrider, Witchkiss, Satta Caveira, Apollo80, The Great Unwilling, Grusom, Träden, Orthodox, Disrule, Ozymandias

Posted in Reviews on December 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review

Good morning from the kitchen table. It’s a couple minutes before 4AM as I get this post started. I’ve got my coffee, my iced tea in the same cup I’ve been using for the last three days, and I’m ready to roll through the next 10 records in this massive, frankly silly, Quarterly Review. Yesterday went well enough and I’m three days into the total 10 and I don’t feel like my head is going to explode, so I’ll just say so far so good.

As ever, there’s a lot to get through, so I won’t delay. I hope you find something here you dig. I certainly have.

Quarterly Review #21-30:

Sandrider, Armada

sandrider armada

Armada is the third full-length from Seattle noiseblasters Sandrider, and at this point I’m starting to wonder what it’s going to take for this band to get their due. Produced by Matt Bayles and released through Good to Die Records, the album is an absolute monster front to back. Scathing. Beastly. And yet the songs have character. It’s the trio’s first outing since 2015’s split with Kinski (review here) and follows 2013’s Godhead (review here) and 2011’s self-titled debut (review here) in melding the band’s West Coast noise superiority with a sense of melody and depth as the trio of guitarist/vocalist Jon Weisnewski, bassist/vocalist Jesse Roberts, and omegadrummer Nat Damm course and wind their way through intense but varied material. “Banger” has been tapped for its grunge influence. Eh. Maybe in the riff, but who cares when there’s so much more going on with it? “Brambles” is out and out brutal but still has a hook, and cuts like “Industry” and the closing “Dogwater” remind of just how skilled Sandrider are at making that brutality fun. If the record was six minutes long and just had “Hollowed” on it, you’d still call it a win.

Sandrider on Thee Facebooks

Good to Die Records website

 

Witchkiss, The Austere Curtains of Our Eyes

witchkiss the austere curtains of our eyes

Goodness gracious. Cavernous echo accompanies the roars of guitarist Scott Prater that are offset by the more subdued melodies of drummer Amber Burns, but even in the most spacious reaches of 11-minute second cut “Blind Faith,” Witchkiss are fucking massive-sounding. Their debut album, The Austere Curtains of Our Eyes, presents an especially crushing take on ritualistic volume, sounding its catharsis in a song like “Spirits of the Dirt” and sounding natural as it trades between a rolling assault and the atmospheres of its quieter moments. With the departure since the recording of bassist Anthony DiBlasi, the New York-based outfit will invariably shift in dynamic somewhat coming out of this record, but with such an obvious clarity of mission, I honestly doubt their core approach will change all that much. A band doesn’t make a record like this without direct intention. They may evolve, and one hopes they do just because one always hopes for that, but this isn’t a band feeling their way through their first record. This is a band who know exactly the kind of ferocity they want to conjure, and who conjure it without regret.

Witchkiss on Thee Facebooks

Witchkiss on Bandcamp

 

Satta Caveira, MMI

Satta Caveira MMI

Argentinian instrumentalist trio Satta Caveira make a point of saying they recorded MMI, their second or third album depending on what you count, live in their home studio without edits or overdubs, click tracks or anything else. Clearly the intention then is to capture the raw spirit of the material as it’s happening. The eight songs that make up the unmanageable 62-minute listen of MMI — to be fair, 14 of those minutes are opener “Kundalini” and 23 are the sludge-into-jam-into-sludge riffer “T.H.C.” — are accordingly raw, but that in itself becomes a component of their aesthetic. Whether it’s the volume swell that seems to consume “Don Santos” in its second half, the funk of closer “Afrovoid” or the drift in “Kalifornia,” Satta Caveira manage to hone a sense of range amid all the naturalism, and with the gritty and more aggressive riffing of the title-track and the rush of the penultimate “Router,” their sound might actually work with a more elaborate production, but they’ve got a thing, it works well, and I’m not inclined to argue.

Satta Caveira on Thee Facebooks

Satta Caveira on Bandcamp

 

Apollo80, Lizard! Lizard! Lizard!

apollo 80 lizard lizard lizard

Vocalized only by spoken samples of astronauts, the thrice-exclamatory Lizard! Lizard! Lizard! is the debut EP from Perth, Australia, three-piece Apollo80, who are given mostly to exploring an outpouring of heavy molten vibes but still able to hone a bit of cacophony following the “godspeed, John Glenn” sample in second cut “FFH.” There are four songs on the 26-minute offering, and its spaciousness is brought to earth somewhat by the dirt in which the guitar and bass tones are caked, but it’s more the red dust of Mars than anything one might find kicking around a Terran desert. Unsurprisingly, the high point of the outing is the 10:46 title-track, where guitarist Luke, bassist Brano and drummer Shane push farthest into the cosmos — though that’s debatable with the interstellar drone of closer “Good Night” — but even in the impact of “Apollo” at the outset, there’s a feeling of low-oxygen in the atmosphere, and if you get lightheaded, that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be.

Apollo80 on Thee Facebooks

Apollo80 on Bandcamp

 

The Great Unwilling, EP

the great unwilling ep

The prevailing influence throughout the untitled debut EP from Minnesota’s The Great Unwilling is Queens of the Stone Age, but listening to the layer of wah intertwine with the solo on “Sanguine,” there’s more to their approach than just that, however dreamy the vocal melodies from guitarist Jesse Hoheisel might be. Hoheisel, bassist Joe Ulvi and Mark Messina present a clean four tracks and 20 minutes on their first outing, and for having been together for about 18 months, their songwriting seems to have a firm grasp on what they want to do. “If 3 was 7” rolls along at a heavy clip into an effectively drifting midsection and second half jam before returning to the initial riff, while “Current” leads off with a particularly Hommeian construction, and soon gives way to the flowing pace and apparent lyrical references of the aforementioned “Sanguine.” They finish with the dirtier tonality of “Apostasy” and cap with no more pretense than they started, bringing the short release to a close with a chorus that seems to finish with more to say. No doubt they’ll get there.

The Great Unwilling on Thee Facebooks

The Great Unwilling on Bandcamp

 

Grusom, II

grusom ii

A prominent current of organ alongside the guitars gives Grusom‘s aptly-titled second album on Kozmik Artifactz, II, a willfully classic feel, and even the lyrics of “Peace of Mind” play into that with the opening lines, “I always said I was born too late/This future is not for me,” but the presentation from the Svendborg six-piece isn’t actually all that retro-fied. Rather, the two guitars and organ work in tandem to showcase a modern take on those classic ideas, as the back and forth conversation between them in the extended jam of “Skeletons” demonstrates, and with a steady rhythmic foundation and soulful vocals overtop, Grusom‘s craft doesn’t need the superficial trappings of a ’70s influence to convey those roots in their sound. Songs like “Dead End Valley” and “Embers” have a bloozy swing as they head toward the melancholy closer “Cursed from Birth,” but even there, the proceedings are light on pretense and the atmosphere is more concerned with a natural vibe rather than pretending it’s half a century ago.

Grusom on Thee Facebooks

Kozmik Artifactz website

 

Träden, Träden

traden traden

Having originated as Träd Gräs och Stenar, the group now known as Träden is the product of a psychedelic legacy spanning generations. Founder Jakob Sjöholm has joined forces with Hanna Östergren of Hills, Reine Fiske of Dungen and Sigge Krantz of Archimedes Badkar to create a kind of supergroup of serenity, and their self-titled is blissful enough not only to life up to Träd Gräs och Stenar‘s cult status, but to capture one of its own. It’s gorgeous. Presumably the painting used on the cover is the cabin where it was recorded, and its eight tracks — sometimes mellow, sometimes more weighted, always hypnotic — are a naturalist blueprint that only make the world a better place. That sounds ridiculous, I know. But the truth is that for all the terrible, horrifying shit humanity does on a daily basis, to know that there are people on the planet making music like this with such a genuine spirit behind it is enough to instill a bit of hope for the species. This is what it’s all about. I couldn’t even make it through the Bandcamp stream without buying the CD. That never happens.

Träden on Thee Facebooks

Träden on Bandcamp

 

Orthodox, Krèas

orthodox kreas

Last year, Spanish experimentalists Orthodox released Supreme and turned their free-jazz meets low-doom into a 36-minute fracas of happening-right-now creativity. Krèas, a lone, 27-minute track with the core duo of bassist Marco Serrato and drummer Borja Díaz joined by saxophonist Achilleas Polychronidis, was recorded in the same session but somehow seems even more freaked-out. I mean, it’s gone. Gone to a degree that even the hepcats who claim to appreciate free-jazz on anything more than a theoretical level (that is, those who actually listen to it) will have their hair blown back. The rest of the universe? Well, they’ll probably continue on, blissfully unaware that Orthodox are out there smashing comets together like they are, but wow. Challenging the listener is one thing. Krèas is the stuff of dissertations. One only hopes Orthodox aren’t holding their breath waiting for humanity to catch up to what they’re doing, because, yeah, it’s gonna be a while.

Orthodox on Thee Facebooks

Alone Records webstore

 

Disrule, Sleep in Your Honour

Disrule Sleep in Your Honour

Danish bruisers Disrule run a brash gamut with their second album, Sleep in Your Honour (on Seeing Red). Leading off with the earworm hook of the title-track (premiered here), the album puts a charge into C.O.C.-style riffing and classic heavy rock, but shades of Clutch-y funk in “Going Wrong” and a lumbering bottom end in “Occult Razor” assure there’s no single angle from which they strike. “(Gotta Get Me Some) Control” elicits a blues-via-Sabbath vibe, but the drums seem to make sure Disrule are never really at rest, and so there’s a strong sense of momentum throughout the eight-song/29-minute EP, perhaps best emphasized by two-minute second cut “Death on My Mind,” which seems to throw elbows as it sprints past, though even shouted-chorus closer “Enter the Void” has an infectious energy about it. If you think something can’t be heavy and move, Disrule have a shove with your name on it.

Disrule on Thee Facebooks

Seeing Red Records on Bandcamp

 

Ozymandias, Cake!

ozymandias cake

First clue that all is not what it seems? The artwork. Definitely not a picture of cake on the cover of Ozymandias‘ debut album, Cake!, and accordingly, things don’t take long before they get too weird. “Jelly Beans” hits on harshest Nirvana — before it goes into blastbeats. “Mason Jar” scathes out organ-laced doom and vicious screaming, before “Hangman” gets all danceable like “All Pigs Must Die” earlier in the record. The wacky quotient is high, and the keyboards do a lot to add to that, but one can’t really call “Doom I – The Daisies” or the later “Doom II – The Lilies” anything but progressive in the Devin Townsend-shenanigans-metal sense of the word, and as wild as some stretches of Cake! are, the trio from Linz, Austria, are never out of control, and they never give a sense that what they’re doing is an accident. They’re just working on their own stylistic level, and to a degree that’s almost scary considering it’s their first record. I won’t claim to know where they might be headed, but it seems likely they have a plan.

Ozymandias on Thee Facebooks

StoneFree Records website

 

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Viaje a Ixtlán Post New Single “El Aliado” Ahead of 2LP Release

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 21st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Argentina-based progressive heavy psychedelic rockers Viaje a Ixtlán have a new single out now as a name-your-price download. The four-piece band who formed in 2011/2012 depending on where you look had the prior single “Sueño de Agua” out in August, and “El Aliado” follows as a fellow precursor to a 2LP release that’s due out sometime soon. I’d guess that means next year, but you never know. Either way, the track has an experimentalist edge in its weirdo vocal effects, and as the band embark on this ambitious project, they do so with two albums behind them of adventurous prog that have built up to it. I’m not sure when the album will be out, but a name-your-price single, let alone two, is a good way to lead into it, and if “El Aliado” is giving a feel for the kind of open-minded sonic palette they’re working with, that should be a pretty wide swath they cover throughout the record.

An interesting song that seemed well worth sharing. Hope you dig it.

Info from the PR wire:

viaje a ixtlan el aliado

El Aliado is part of the upcoming double release by Viaje a Ixtlán. Each album is a side from the same coin, two faces of the same band during a process of reorganization. The songs from the first album, such as “El Aliado”, are centered around instrumental passages inspired by the krautrock from the late 60’s, where the melodic motifs are carried by layers of synthesizers, riding over bases of traditional rock using the repetition as a way of generating the sensation of a mantra, the stillness, the calm, leaving the listener alone with the flow of the music.

Music by Viaje a Ixtlán
Arrangements by Viaje a Ixtlán.
Recorded on Estudios Zar and Black House by Damian Colaprette between December 2016 and February 2017.
Mixing and Mastering on Estudio Black House by Damian Colaprette.
Produced by Mariano Bertolazzi and Andrés Raffo.
Artwork by Matías Ridolfi.

Viaje a Ixtlán lives in constant movement, in constant change, stepping out of our comfort zone in each step, experimenting and chewing out each sound that influenced us so much. Taking as a starting point instrumental and dark passages, the band has developed a personal aesthetic wheres the songs get fused with the sound experimentation and the electric volatility.

Viaje a Ixtlán is:
Mariano Bertolazzi – Bass
Andrés “el Jeque” Raffo – Synth
Fernando Figueiras – Guitar
Leonardo Aldegani – Drums

https://www.instagram.com/viaje_a_ixtlan/
https://www.facebook.com/ViajeAIxtlan/
https://viajeaixtlan.bandcamp.com/

Viaje a Ixtlán, “El Aliado”

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New IAH Album II Now Available

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 30th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

iah (Photo by Romi Sundberg)

Executed with a lush psychedelic fluidity offset by periods of more weighted thrust, IAH‘s simply-titled album, II follows behind their early 2017 self-titled debut EP (review here), and might just qualify as their first full-length. The self-titled was picked up for a bonus-track-inclusive release through Kozmik Artifactz that fleshed it out to an LP either way, so however you slice it, II is their sophomore release, and it very much sounds like it. Recorded live, it finds the Argentinian three-piece engaging a raw sonic chemistry between them that has developed quickly even from where it was a year and a half ago. Songs like “HH” and “Pri,” both of which top seven minutes long, cast themselves between chugging progressive metal and fluid psychedelic heavy, and refuse to commit between the two or really acknowledge any disparity that might exist there. Weaving in and out of more aggressive riffage with ease, they also wander into post-rock musings with the guitar on “Nihil Novum,” only to issue a slap in the face via full-boar distortion in a louder section.

It’s a record that finds IAH developing their sound and going wherever the hell they want with it, essentially. They answer the potential of their debut with a flow and a confidence that allow them to direct the songs rather than being led by them, and by the time they get around to the prog/jazzy drums and keyboards in the second half of closer “Sheut,” it’s apparent just how wide open they’ve thrown the doors with this record. Another one that seems likely to wind up on vinyl sooner or later with a proper release, but if available digitally for the time being and streaming at the bottom of this post.

Dig it:

iah ii

IAH – II

Tracklisting:
1. El silencio del agua 06:56
2. hh 07:15
3. Nihil novum 04:41
4. La niña del rayo 06:37
5. Pri 07:34
6. Sheut 05:44

Recorded live, mixed and mastered at 440 Estudio. Engineered and mixed by Mario Carnerero. Mastered by Mariano “Nano” Dinella.

Drum Doctor: Facundo Rodríguez
Guitar Doctor: Mario Carnerero
Assistant: José Bazán
Artwork: Guillermo Scarpa

Produced by Mario Carnerero and IAH.

IAH is:
Juan Pablo Lucco Borlera: Bass
Mauricio Condon: Guitar
José Landín: Drums

https://www.facebook.com/IAHBanda/
https://iahbanda.bandcamp.com/

IAH, II (2018)

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Sanador Finishing Full-Length Debut; Self-Titled EP Available as Free Download

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 24th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

The then-newcomer trio Sanador gave a glimpse at their overarching scope on their late-2017 self-titled debut EP when they included the three-part “Hijo del Hombre” as the final three of the total four-included tracks. With members of Humo del Cairo, Viaje a Ixtlan and Lo Bruto working together for the first time and self-releasing through the Errantes Records imprint that also issued the final outings from Humo del Cairo, Sanador benefited from its members experience in eliciting a patient groove of surprising impact, somewhere between post-metal and the nodding tendencies of heavy rock. Ambience was a key factor in the EP, though, and one expects no less as the three-piece put the finishing touches on their debut long-player, set to release through yet-unknown circumstances — could be Errantes, could be otherwise — presumably sometime next year.

That EP is available now as a free download, so yes, grab it, and I’ll hope to have more to come on the album when we get there, however we get there.

Some basic info (and the EP audio) follow here, as per the PR wire:

sanador

Sanador – New Album

The name of the band refers to the internal and emotional process arising from the conflicts of human relationships, taking the music as a cathartic and therapeutic method of spiritual overcoming.

Extreme rhythms coexist with oneiric passages inside the band sonic horizons, influenced by transgressive genres such as Post metal, Post hardcore and Post rock.

Based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, founded in 2017, the band is formed by : Juan Manuel Diaz (Humo del Cairo), Guitar and vocals, Mariano Bertolazzi (Viaje a Ixtlan, Narcoiris), Bass guitar and synths. Rodrigo Ioio Vega (Pornobot, Lo bruto) on drums.

Their members have an interesting trajectory on the underground local scene, linked to the heavy music and the DIY ethic, SANADOR implies a different take on music and lyrics.

The first EP was digitally released in 2017 under their own label Errantes records and by the end of that year they played as supporting act for the legendary Neurosis in their first show in Argentina.

Currently they are finishing their new record, 5 songs that will prove the vastly Sonic landscape where SANADOR´s music transits.

Sanador is:
Juan Manuel Diaz: Voz y Guitarras
Mariano Bertolazzi: Bajo y Sintetizadores
Rodrigo Ioio Vega: Bateria

https://www.facebook.com/SANADORBAND/
https://www.instagram.com/sanadorband/
https://sanador.bandcamp.com/releases
https://www.instagram.com/errantesrecords/

Sanador, Sanador (2017)

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Sergio Ch. Premieres “Los Barcos” Video from 1974

Posted in Bootleg Theater on July 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

SERGIO CH AT PIANO

Over the last couple years as former Los Natas and current Soldati frontman Sergio Chotsourian — also of Ararat, whose status is somewhat up in the air at this point — has developed his multifaceted solo persona Sergio Ch., experimenting with South American folk traditions, psychedelia and drone fluidity, as well as developed various one-offs and side-projects, I’ve posted any number of videos corresponding to whatever he’s got going at the time. Some are premieres, like the one for “Los Barcos” below, and some are just put out there as quickly as I can catch up to their actual release. But he’s been a regular around these parts for a while now, and that’s not without reason.

The basic fact of the matter is I believe what Chotsourian is doing now is important. His status in Argentinian and South American heavy in general — fostered not only through Los Natas‘ enduring influence, but through his South American Sludge Records label as well — is unquestionable, but in listening to his two solo records, 2016’s 1974 (review here) and 2017’s Aurora (review here), it’s abundantly clear his interest lies not in rehashing past glories, but continuing to push into new areas of sound and style. Despite this, his approach is consistently organic and his voice resonant with emotion. There’s always genuine expression happening, regardless of the context in which it appears.

So if you’re wondering, I guess that’s why I try and post about his work as much as possible, and that’s why I’m going to continue to do so. I suppose you could say I’m a fan.

“Los Barcos” originally appeared on 1974, and if you’re wondering why there’d be a video for it now, note the violin guest spot from Milagros Arrom, who also did the camerawork for the clip.

Please enjoy:

Sergio Ch., “Los Barcos” official video premiere

VIDEO OFICIAL DEL DISCO DE SERGIO CH. – “1974”
PRODUCIDO POR SERGIO CH.
CAMARA POR MILAGROS ARROM
VIDEO REALIZADO POR LUCAS MARTINEZ

OUI OUI RECORDS
SOUTH AMERICAN SLUDGE RECORDS

South American Sludge Records on Bandcamp

South American Sludge Records on Thee Facebooks

Sergio Ch. on YouTube

Oui Oui Records website

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Gabo Ferro & Sergio Ch. Post “Corona de Caranchos” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on May 21st, 2018 by JJ Koczan

sergio ch y gabo ferro

In a way, it seems that a collaboration between Sergio Chotsourian and Gabo Ferro was probably bound to happen. Both Buenos Aires-based artists have long-running career trajectories that have brought them to solo singer-songwriterism: Ferro was the founding vocalist of hardcore outfit Porco and went on to release a number of albums on his own, while Chotsourian took an even more path to releasing solo albums as the founding guitarist/vocalist of Los Natas and an ongoing string of other projects and collaborations from Ararat to Soldati and so on. Neither is a stranger to working in collaboration with other artists, and together, as Gabo Ferro y Sergio Ch., they’ll release their debut album, Historias de Pescadores y Ladrones de la Pampa Argentina, next month on Oui Oui Records.

The album’s title translates to “stories of fishermen and thieves of the Argentinian lowlands,” and if you note that there’s an immediate gabo ferro y sergio ch historias de pescadores y ladrones de la pampa argentinaconnection to place in the title, that would hardly seem to be a mistake. To herald the record’s arrival, Ferro and Chotsourian have released a video for “Corona de Caranchos,” and it’s a song steeped in South American folk traditions. Still modern in its structure and sound, it speaks to that specificity of place in its atmosphere and melody, bringing the listener along on a textured journey that is naturalistic in its execution and no less emotionally resonant than it is thoughtfully composed. I’ll cop to not being as familiar with Ferro‘s work as Chotsourian‘s but as “Corona de Caranchos” demonstrates plainly, their two voices and styles work well alongside each other, and the single leaves one curious to find out where else Historias de Pescadores y Ladrones de la Pampa Argentina might take them. Presumably, at some point, near some water.

When we spoke, Chotsourian had the release in two weeks through Oui Oui Records. Sometimes their stuff can be hard to find outside Argentina, but we live in a magical age of technical wonders in which it’s really, really, really easy to spend money, and if you’re reading this, you’re already on the internet, so I’m guessing you can figure it out.

Enjoy the “Corona de Caranchos” video below:

Gabo Ferro & Sergio Ch., “Corona de Caranchos” official video

Directed by Dante Martínez.

From the album: “Historias de Pescadores y Ladrones de la Pampa Argentina.”

Out on OUI OUI RECORDS.

South American Sludge Records on Bandcamp

South American Sludge Records on Thee Facebooks

Sergio Ch. on YouTube

Oui Oui Records website

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Soldati Post New Single “El Latigo y las Riendas”

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 25th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Last summer, Buenos Aires-based heavy rock trio Soldati issued the single El Nudo en la Soga (discussed here) and put out word of an intended vinyl release. It’s been some months, obviously, and I have to wonder if the newly-posted “El Latigo y las Riendas” isn’t perhaps the B-side of that same single, which presuambly would be put out through frontman Sergio Chotsourian‘s own imprint, South American Sludge Records; though at this point one never knows.

The reason I say that is because Chotsourian — who uses the abbreviated moniker Sergio Ch. for his solo and other releases and who has been talked about here enough over the years that I can’t believe I still feel compelled to explain that — recently signed Italy’s Argonauta Records to re-release the first, classic album from Los Natas, 1996’s Delmar, through that label rather than his own. I think an eye toward European distribution is the idea there, which makes sense. The one time I was fortunate enough to watch Los Natas play, it was in Europe and the crowd loved it.

But back to the matter at hand, I’m not sure where that leaves Soldatior Sergio Ch.‘s solo work — he’s got a new album coming this year as well– so we’ll just have to find out as we get closer. In the meantime, you might recall that “El Latigo y las Riendas” was posted here about a year ago as a solo track. Hardly the first time one Sergio Ch. project has bled over into another, and I doubt it will be the last.

Whatever comes next and however it arrives, enjoy the single. Recording info follows, then the stream:

soldati el latigo y las riendas

SOLDATI – EL LATIGO Y LAS RIENDAS

[S.A.S. 085]

SERGIO CH. – GUITARRA & VOCALS
LUCAS CASSINELLI – BASS
RANZ – BATERIA

Recorded and mixed by PATRICIO CLAYPOLE at ESTUDIO EL ATTIC
Mastered by PATRICIO CLAYPOLE at ESTUDIO EL ATTIC
Artwork by Sergio Ch.
Produced by PATRICIO CLAYPOLE

SOUTH AMERICAN SLUDGE RECORDS

https://www.facebook.com/SOLDATIDOOMNACIONAL
https://sasrecords.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/SASRECORDSARGENTINA

Soldati, “El Latigo y las Riendas”

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