Kal-El Celebrate Fifth Anniversary in New Live Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

kal-el

Seems only fair that, as they marked five years of existence as a group earlier this Spring, Norway’s Kal-El should return to the place where it all began for a special show. The Stavenger outfit, who issued their third album, Astrodoomeda (review here), played their first gig in their hometown of Stavenger at a spot called The Martinique, and sure enough, they celebrated half a decade in the same spot, the four-piece of vocalist Captain Ulven, guitarist Roffe, bassist Liz and drummer Bjudas hitting into a special set that ran over an hour and seemed to really be an effort of love in the making. Captured by Blackie Davidson in its entirety, the video features Astrodoomeda cuts like “Atmosphere,” “Code of the Ancient and “Starlight Shade” among others like “7th Sun” and “Starmist” from 2015’s sophomore outing Echosphere,”Mothership” from that same year’s Cosmic Void EP, and “Fire Machine” from their 2013 debut LP, Pakal, covering its bases as regards their catalog and saving room at the end for a grand finale of three covers.

The first of those is Kyuss‘ “Green Machine,” which received a similar treatment on Astrodoomeda; more spaced out and slowed down than the original, stretching that signature riff’s punker edge into a distinct nod. Following that, Kal-El bring up Sindre Johnsen to play guitar alongside Roffe and dig into two Black Sabbath classics with “War Pigs” and “Hole in the Sky.” The latter was previously recorded and featured as a bonus track on Ecosphere, but I’m not sure they ever put out a version of “War Pigs.” Maybe on the first record. Either way, they’re obviously well familiar with one of doom and heavy rock’s formative staples, and Captain Ulven even goes so far to sing along to the riff near the end à la Ozzy on stage. Good fun the whole way around, and with as much time dedicated to their own material as there is leading up to the finish, one could hardly accuse Kal-El of shorting themselves in terms of focusing on their own songs.

Bottom line is it’s a special moment in the life of the band and they’re fortunate to have it recorded for posterity, nostalgia, or any other reason one might think of. Live album? Digital live album? Like I said, any reason they might think of. Kal-El aren’t necessarily due for a new record yet — Astrodoomeda will have been out for a year as of later this summer, and the band seem to have a pattern for odd-numbered years — but my understanding is they’ve started to put stuff together with an eye toward making a fourth full-length and no doubt something like stopping and taking even just a single evening to reflect on where they’ve been and what they’ve done as a band will play into what they do next, so that’s all the more reason to look forward to what’s coming next, but again, that’s a while off. For the moment, the Martinique show is available to check out for anyone who’d care to dig in, and you can find it below streaming in its entirety, followed by some comment from the band.

Please enjoy:

Kal-El, Live at The Martinique, May 19, 2018

Captain Ulven on Martinique show:

February 9th, 2013, was the date Kal-El played our first show after becoming a band. That happened just a few weeks before at Martinique Bar in Stavanger, Norway. We all came together after rehearsals and decided to give it our best and give the band a shot. So it was quite natural for us to have an intimate show for friends, fans and family. We have been doing tours all over the world, played all over the world, met our heroes, played with our heroes and been praised by our heroes met loads and loads of cool bands and guys, and all that in just five years. We have truly been blessed in a lot of ways, but still we can’t cracked the code on how to get the attention of the DesertFest guys so we could play on that festival (all of them!).

The show itself was amazing, even if extremely intimate and hot, we had a good crowd, friend on stage, friends offstage, loads of beer and only smiles and good times all the way to the promise land.

Kal-El are:
Cpt Ulven – Vocals
Roffe – Guitars
Liz – Bass
Bjudas – Drums

Kal-El on Thee Facebooks

Kal-El on Twitter

Kal-El website

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Wasted Theory Set October Release for Warlords of the New Electric on Argonauta Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

wasted theory

Delaware-based burl-bringers Wasted Theory have yet to put out anything that didn’t up the stakes from the release prior. Across their two to-date full-lengths, 2016’s Defenders of the Riff (review here) — which was reissued as their debut on Argonauta Records last year, and the preceding 2014 debut, Death and Taxes (review here) — the four-piece have pushed deeper into a plunge of stoner-is-as-stoner-does riffery, marked by ultra-dudely vibes and an increasing vitality born, as that sort of thing is, by a likewise increasing stage presence. To wit, they’ve got live dates announced through basically now (they had two gigs this past weekend) through October, heading out in handfuls at a time on the East Coast and in the Midwest, having hit the West Coast earlier this year.

And though in direct contrast to the righteousness of the album’s title, Warlords of the New Electric, somewhere along the line someone in the band made the genuinely unfortunate decision to name the closing track “Doomslut Rodeo” — lest the genre go five minutes without demeaning, objectifying or shaming someone into their #metoo moment — given their forward progression thus far, I’m looking forward to hearing what these guys have in store this time around. The record will be out in October through the aforementioned and ever-busy Argonauta Records.

The following came down the PR wire:

WASTED THEORY WARLORDS OF THE NEW ELECTRIC

WASTED THEORY unveils artwork & details on third full-length, “WARLORDS OF THE NEW ELECTRIC,” set to release via Argonauta Records in October; Continues ‘Stoned On Both Coasts’ Tour

Hitting the halfway point of their ‘Stoned On Both Coasts Tour” on May 26th with a blazing set at the Stoned To Death 3 Fest in Vermont, American Weed Rockers Wasted Theory sneaked into the studio in between performances to complete a new record. The Mid-Atlantic heavy foursome leaps forward with Italy’s Argonauta Records to reveal the details about their third full-length album, Warlords of the New Electric.

Their second release with Argonauta Records, after the ‘2017 edition’ CD re-release of Defenders of the Riff, this new Wasted Theory displays a disturbingly sober vision of slammed down, heavy rock invaders. Just completed this Spring (April – May 2018), Warlords of the New Electric was recorded, engineered, and mixed by Joseph Boldizar (Ruby The Hatchet, Ecstatic Vision, The Age of Truth) at Retro City Studios in Philadelphia, PA. Album cover artwork and design by Bill Kole of Billy Diablo Design Services.

Argonauta Records’ label owner Gero had this to say:

“After teaming-up for the 2017 edition of their monumental album ‘Defenders of the Riff’, Argonauta Records is thrilled to renew the collaboration with WASTED THEORY, whose new album is already anticipated as one of the hottest releases of the coming Fall,”

Argonauta plans to unleash Warlords of the New Electric on the world in October 2018. The eight song, full album hammer strike will include Vinyl and CD formats, with Digital Download and Streaming through most major outlets available simultaneously to the physical release. Pre-order information and links are forthcoming.

Some words from Wasted Theory on ‘Warlords of the New Electric’:

“When we set out to write ‘Warlords of the New Electric’ we wanted to take the energy and enthusiasm of ‘Defenders of the Riff” and develop those vibes even further. In our opinion, this is the perfect companion to the last album. We didn’t want to put out the stereotypical third album where we start getting all experimental and bizarre. So, we did the exact opposite – we took our gritty rock n’ roll origins and pushed them even heavier into the material.

The riffs are harder, the fast stuff is faster and the doom stuff is doomier. This is the perfect album for those hot, sticky summer nights hanging out at your buddy’s BBQ bonfire and having way too much to drink. This album is very much a Wasted Theory album.”

Warlords of the New Electric – Track List:
1. Rawhide Hellride
2. Drug Buzzard
3. Bongronaut
4. The Son of a Son of a Bitch
5. Bastard County
6. Heavy Bite
7. Weed Creature
8. Doomslut Rodeo

WASTED THEORY are:
Larry Jackson, Jr. – Vocals/Guitars
Brendan Burns – Drums
Rob Michael – Bass
Andrew Petkovic – Guitars

Upcoming Live Dates:
Jul. 06 – Wilmington DE @ Oddity Bar (w/ Kingsnake, The Age Of Truth, Bloodlaw)
Jul. 07 – Kingston NY @ The Anchor (w/ Witchkiss, Shadow Witch)
Aug. 24 – Washington DC @ Atlas Brew Works
Aug. 25 – Frederick MD @ Guido’s Speakeasy
Sep. 13 – McMechen WV @ Goodfellas
Sep. 14 – Columbus OH @ Victory Live (w/ Wolftooth, Horseburner, Pale Grey Lore)
Sep. 15 – Indianapolis IN @ Indiana City Brewery (w/ Wolftooth)
Sep. 16 – Louisville KY @ Magbar (w/ Wolftooth)
Oct. 11 – Pittsburgh PA @ Howler’s
Oct. 12 – Detroit MI @ New Dodge Lounge
Oct. 13 – Canton OH @ Buzzbin Shop

www.americanweedrock.com
https://www.facebook.com/wastedtheoryband/
https://www.instagram.com/wastedtheory/
https://twitter.com/WastedTheory
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCci0QWWVsPmJUNtXI2yPXNA/videos
www.argonautarecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/
https://twitter.com/argonautarex
https://www.instagram.com/argonautarecords/

Wasted Theory, Defenders of the Riff (2016)

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Demande à la Poussière Premiere “L’Univers”; Self-Titled Debut Due Fall 2018

Posted in audiObelisk on June 11th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

demande a la poussiere

Parisian trio Demande à la Poussière are set to make their self-titled debut early this Fall on Argonauta Records. The project is new. Really new. As in, I-think-the-track-premiere-below-might-be-their-first-public-audio new. They were founded last year by members of The Great Old Ones, Würm and Nerv, among others, and when one considers the pedigree as well as the span of influences at work within it, it’s hardly a surprise the group’s first single from the album, “L’Univers,” is both so cohesive in its churn and so difficult to place in terms of genre. Hearty proportions of black metal, doom and noisy post-metallic churn make their way into the five-minute cut, and the three-down-from-five-piece of guitarists Jeff Grimal and Edgard Chevallier (the latter also programming) and vocalist Krys Fruit-Denhez call to mind a more charred version of German one-man outfit Owl in their rhythm and inescapable extremity.

As the leadoff of the eight-song/43-minute outing, “L’Univers” is charged with setting the grim but not overblown atmosphere upon which the rest of what follows ultimately builds. The band vary the balance throughout on songs like “Le Lendemain” and the marching groove of “L’Unique Certitude” and the near-apocalyptic “Condamnes,” with a consistency of tone and a malleable sound that keeps songwriting at the center while also allowing them to move outward into an ambient bleakness. The later cut “Accroche” teases some minimalism in its quiet stretches, soon enough giving way to explosive heft, and by the time they get down to closer “Drone” — which, yes, lives up to its name — Demande à la Poussière have found a cosmic place as rich in sound as it is in a sense of terror. Even then, Demande à la Poussière refuse to let go of their darkened sensibilities, the rage driving the creation, and what “L’Univers” starts only grows more virulent along the way.

Naturally, that’s the whole idea, and “L’Univers,” in its shove and its underlying current of noise, is indicative of much of what follows. As such, it’s all the more my pleasure to be able to host the premiere below. Demande à la Poussière‘s signing to Argonauta was just announced last month, but the record is done and in the can, so the early Fall release seems like a perfectly reasonable expectation at this point. I’ll hope to have more as we get closer to the actual drop date, but until then, you can listen to “L’univers” on the player here, with a quote from the band and more background info beneath that.

Please enjoy:

Demande à la Poussière, “L’Univers”

Demande à la Poussière on “L’Univers”:

“L’Univers” is the title that opens the album and that will undoubtedly herald a deluge of heaviness and disillusioned feelings. Pessimism as an engine for aggressiveness and reconstruction.

DEMANDE À LA POUSSIÈRE is a Blackened Post-core band founded in 2017 whose members come from experienced Black Metal, Hardcore and Indus scenes. Members are: Jeff (vocals and guitar – The Great Old Ones / Spectrale), Edgard Chevallier (machine – ex Würm / Gloomy Hellium Bath), Vincent Baglin (Moshi-Moshi-battery), Krys (chant-Nerv / Omrade), Jiu (Bass -ex No return), the band quickly records a first album at Lower tones Place Studio in September 2017. The band has diverse influences to offer a unique style. Combining heaviness Sludge / Doom, the blackness of Black Metal, the intensity of Post Hardcore tinged post rock atmosphere. This music is impacting, encompassing and intense. The name of the band is taken from a book by John Fante, but there is no connection to see it as the deep darkness of the music leads to other feelings.

Krys Fruit-denhez : Vocals
Jeff Grimal : Guitars
Edgard Chevallier : Guitars, Programming

Demande à la Poussière on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records website

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Ayahuasca Dark Trip to Release Upaya on Argonauta Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 15th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

By the time multinational psychedelic exploratory conglomerate Ayahuasca Dark Trip got around to releasing their second album last year, the title had changed from its original II (discussed here) to Upaya, but whatever you want to call it, the thing is an exercise in tripped-out worldbuilding, the continent-spanning lineup offering primo doom/drone trippery and lysergic technicolor expanse. They let it get weird in other words, and for a band based in the US, in Europe and in South America, they sounded remarkably cohesive in doing so.

Not a huge surprise that Argonauta Records would pick them up given their connections to Queen Elephantine, who are also on the Italian label, but either way, Ayahuasca Dark Trip deserves to be heard by as many ears as possible, and if releasing Upaya in physical form on June 29 is a step toward that, all the better.

Seriously. It’s streaming at the bottom of this post. Dig in. If you’re still reading this, I can hands-down promise you that you will not regret it:

Ayahuasca Dark Trip

U.S. psychonauts AYAHUASCA DARK TRIP sign to Argonauta Records

ARGONAUTA Records is thrilled to announce the deal with US psychonauts AYAHUASCA DARK TRIP.

Uncompromising and fearless in its approach, the band creates hypnotic music that combines doom metal, acid psychedelia and ritual drone into an intense and explosive trip.

The multinational project was formed in 2010 by prolific Peruvian musician Brayan Anthony (Montibus Comunitas) and Buddy van Nieuwenhoven from Netherlands (Cosmic Nod). The group soon expanded with Indrayudh Shome (USA/India, Queen Elephantine), Pedro Ivo Arau?jo (Brazil, Necro), Sifis Karadakis (Greece), Floris Moerkamp and Robin van Rooy (Netherlands). AYAHUASCA DARK TRIP blasted off to explore revolutionary new possibilities of fluid musical collaboration across great physical and cultural distances.

“We’re very excited to join Argonauta, which has shown its solid support for bands like Suma that push boundaries beyond one realm. And we’re always glad to work with Gero, one of the most hardworking people in the community.” — Indrayudh Shome, lead singer of ADT as well as Queen Elephantine, whose last album was also on Argonauta Records.

The album “Upaya” will be released on physical format, for the first time on CD, and available from June 29th, 2018.

www.facebook.com/ayahuascadarktrip
https://ayahuascadarktrip.bandcamp.com
http://www.ayahuascadarktrip.com/
www.argonautarecords.com

Ayahuasca Dark Trip, Upaya (2017)

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Vessel of Light Announce Woodshed Album Details

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 8th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

vessel of light

Last month when Vessel of Light announced the title of their Argonauta Records debut full-length as Woodshed, I, in full internet-snark mode, cast my bet that there was some murder going on in that backyard. You know what? Called it. If nothing else, Nathan Opposition likes working on a theme.

Vessel of Light, of course, is the Ohio-based Opposition (see also Ancient VVisdom) teaming up with New Jersey guitarist Dan Lorenzo (see also Hades, The Cursed), and they issued their self-titled debut EP (review here) through Argonauta last year, setting an initial tone of drugs, killing and psychosis that it seems the forthcoming long-player is only too happy to follow-up.

Vessel of Light‘s Woodshed is out Sept. 21.

From the PR wire:

vessel of light woodshed

VESSEL OF LIGHT reveal new album details

US Doom Metallers VESSEL OF LIGHT (featuring Nathan Opposition of ANCIENT VVISDOM and Dan Lorenzo of HADES) reveal cover artwork and track-list of their highly anticipated album “Woodshed”.

About the album concept, Nathan says: “Woodshed is a twisted plot involving a torturer and his numerous victims, his devious plan to kill in the name of God, and the mental breakdown that follows. The consequences of murderous actions that tell a tale of ritualistic sacrifice, homicide/ suicide, offerings to “the holy Lord”, and the truth behind the lies of reality. The content is dark and cold. A drugged out murder spree by a man haunted by the voices of the dead.”

By commenting this new album, Dan Lorenzo said: “Woodshed is a title that has intrigued me for a while now. I consider myself a songwriter more than a true musician. I know serious musicians will say they are ‘woodshedding’ or practicing a lot. In the winter when it’s cold out in New Jersey, I definitely pick up a guitar more than I do in the summer..not to ‘practice’, but to write new music. The woodshed in American culture has traditionally been a place where someone goes to work on something often secretly. In the old days it might be where a parent goes to give their child a beating. Sometimes the woodshed could be used to hide nefarious things that nobody is supposed to find out about. Nathan took this concept and created lyrical genius. It’s fucking dark as hell man.”

VESSEL OF LIGHT teamed-up with renowned Italian artist Marco Castagnetto (www.zenpunkart.com) to give their visions a proper form by realizing a stunning cover artwork.

VESSEL OF LIGHT “Woodshed” will be released on CD/LP/DD by ARGONAUTA Records and available from September 21st, 2018.

More details and preorder info available soon.

TRACK-LIST:
1) Woodshed
2) Part of My Plan
3) A Love So True
4) Son of Man
5) Watching The Fire
6) Beyond The Cellar Door
7) One Way Out
8) Man’s Sin
9) Day of Rest
10) End It All
11) Pray For A Cure

Nathan Opposition Vocals, drums, lyrics, melodies, keyboard
Dan Lorenzo Guitar, bass, music, backing vox on Part Of My Plan
Michael Jochum guitar solo One Way Out

https://www.facebook.com/vesseloflightband
www.instagram.com/VesselOfLightMusic
www.argonautarecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/ArgonautaRecords/
https://twitter.com/ArgonautaRex

Vessel of Light, “Son of Man” official video

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Dee Calhoun, Go to the Devil: The Mad Cacophony

Posted in Reviews on May 7th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

dee-calhoun-go-to-the-devil

There’s something of a shadow cast over the second solo release from singer-songwriter “Screaming Mad” Dee Calhoun. Go to the Devil — released, like Calhoun‘s 2016 debut, Rotgut (review here), via Argonauta Records — follows the January 2018 passing of “Iron” Alfred Morris III, the guitarist and founder of what for the better part of the last decade has been Calhoun‘s main outlet, Iron Man. Morris‘ death, which to my understanding was protracted and painful enough to truly be a work of Maryland doom, effectively brought that band’s long and storied career to a close, and while Calhoun has already begun developing a new full-band outfit alongside the likes of Bruce Falkinburg (The Hidden Hand) called Thee Iron Hand, there’s no way the loss of Morris didn’t affect him deeply as it did the entire Maryland doom community, to whom Morris was at least an Iommic figurehead, if not a direct mentor.

I’m relatively certain Calhoun had written if not actually recorded Go to the Devil before Morris passed away — that would make the penultimate “Your Face” about some other deeply personal loss — but it’s hard to think of the release outside this context, even if it’s more likely to be directly addressed next time around. And listening to Go to the Devil, there’s little doubt there will be a next time around. The album tops 55 minutes and features 11 tracks, so if nothing else, Calhoun has plenty to say. Even more telling there’s a clear line of progression from Rotgut to Go to the Devil in terms of overall approach, Calhoun overseeing an expansion of arrangements compared to the first collection and collaborating with another Iron Man bandmate, bassist Louis Strachan.

The two started working together during live sets to support Rotgut, and as he did to Calhoun‘s stage performance, Strachan brings significant character of play to songs here like opener “Common Enemy,” “The Lotus Field is Barren” and the title-track itself, the latter bordering on a full-band-style arrangement with a shaker for percussion alongside the guitar, bass and vocals. And of course, it’s the vocals that feature. Calhoun is a singer, and more, a metal singer, and while Go to the Devil communes with country twang and the blues much like its predecessor, it’s still coming from that very metal place, with Calhoun willing to unleash his inner Halford on “Born (One-Horse Town),” “Jesus, the Devil, the Deed” — also the title of a novella Calhoun has penned — the harmonica-laden “The Ballad of Dixon Bridge” or six-minute closer “Dry Heaves and Needles,” which opens with a news sample about a child found in a car whose parents had overdosed and seems to directly speak to the opioid epidemic.

dee calhoun and louis strachan

That last song would seem to be as close as Calhoun comes to a social statement or critique on Go to the Devil — that is, he’s not writing protest folk songs or anything of the like — but the tradeoff there is that this collection by and large feels more personal than did Rotgut, with cuts like the aforementioned “Your Face,” as well as “Bedevil Me,” and “Me, Myself and I” taking on issues of depression and loss, and a return appearance from Dee‘s son, Rob Calhoun, adding personal flair to “The Ballad of Dixon Bridge.” Other songs may be just as personal, tracks like “The Final Stand of the Fallen” or “The Lotus Field is Barren,” but their emotional crux is couched in metaphor and storytelling, which is something at which Calhoun excels as a performer.

And it should be noted that Go to the Devil is more complex in its delivery than was the preceding album. That is, Calhoun — the power of his lungs well established — isn’t nearly so unipolar in his vocal execution. He’s not just screaming, and he’s not just mad. Sure, he raises a defiant middle finger in leather-vest fashion to St. Peter in the title-track, but on “The Final Stand of the Fallen,” “The Lotus Field is Barren” or the already noted “Your Face.’ This adds character to Go to the Devil on the whole, offsetting some of the whiskey-and-hellfire material and, in combination with the richer arrangements, making Go to the Devil a decisive forward step from Rotgut.

This is even more the reason why I said above there’s so likely to be a next time around; Calhoun hasn’t simple issued a follow-up to Rotgut doing the same thing all over again — he’s tapped into a creative progression of his own as a solo artist (if one with accompaniment) and his drive seems to be not to establish a formula and continue to work within it, despite some consistency of lyrical thematic, but to continue to charge ahead into territory yet unknown to him as a songwriter and a performer. Go to the Devil does that and succeeds with a foundation of memorable tracks offering a variety of moods and a quality of performance that acts as the thread tying them together. Thus far into his solo career, there would seem to be no goal Calhoun has set for himself creatively that he hasn’t surpassed.

Dee Calhoun, “Jesus, the Devil, the Deed” official video

Dee Calhoun website

Dee Calhoun on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records website

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Review & Full Album Premiere: Di’Aul, Nobody’s Heaven

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 3rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

diaul nobodys heaven

[Click play above to stream Di’Aul’s Nobody’s Heaven in its entirety. Album is out May 4 via Argonauta Records.]

I’ll admit to being somewhat puzzled by the title Milano sludge-rocking four-piece Di’Aul — to be pronounced like “the owl” and not like “dial,” reportedly — have given to their five-track Argonauta Records sophomore long-player. Is it Nobody’s Heaven, like a heaven that doesn’t belong to anyone, or Nobody’s Heaven, like there isn’t a single person who represents the idea of paradise? The lyrics of the 7:45 opening title-track, delivered as they are in gruff but still melodic gutturalisms by vocalist MoMo Cinieri, aren’t much help when they’re discernible. I guess there’s something to keeping the idea vague — though I’ll allow that with the benefit of a full lyric sheet it might not be a mystery at all — and open to interpretation when it comes to engaging the listener, but Di’Aul could hardly be expected to have much trouble in that regard anyway, particularly among the mud-covered sludge converted whose lives have been incomplete since Australia’s Beastwars called it a day.

Di’Aul don’t proffer quite the same kind of tonal dominance from guitarist Lele Mella or bassist Jeremy Toma (also vocals), but the stomp in Diego Bertoni‘s drums on a cut like moody centerpiece “Garden of Exile” or the faster “Low Est,” which follows, seems to stem from a similar post-Crowbarian root. With how comfortable the band are playing slow, and how nestled into a nod they get, a moment like “Low Est” is something of a surprise, but there isn’t really a point on the album wherein Di’Aul entirely depart from the sphere of heavy sludge rock. So while they range a bit, they’re still well within genre parameters.

The crucial element here is lurch. The five songs that comprise Nobody’s Heaven — “Nobody’s Heaven,” “Black Death,” “Garden of Exile,” “Low Est,” and “Mother Witch” — rely largely on slow grooves to get their sonic point across, and that becomes a bit part of the identity of the album. They start of quietly enough with the intro to “Nobody’s Heaven,” but about 90 seconds in build to a huge-sounding scream and crash, and from there, trade back and forth tensely between quiet minimalist guitar strumming/vocals, and full-tone kick-in-the-teeth riffing and rolling. Their basic starting point is definitely metal, and that’s so it’s all the easier to point to a band like Crowbar as a pivotal influence for the teeth-gritting “Black Death,” which still carries a melody in its chorus in a way that’s immediately familiar, but there are shades of more bouncing riffage in the subsequent “Garden of Exile” despite the consistency of brooding.

di'aul

That subtle difference in methodology goes a long way in not only holding the forward momentum Di’Aul have thus far worked to craft, but broadening the overarching sonic context of the release. Again, they remain aggressive, and Mella‘s guitar still finds room for plenty of the chug that seems to permeate every song in one way or another, but the swinging bridge that starts at about four minutes in would’ve seem strange tucked into the opener, and it shows command on the part of the group as a unit that by the time they get there and head toward the slowdown and solo that leads back to the verse/chorus to finish out — because songwriting! — it’s well within their reach. That makes the transition into the uptempo push of “Low Est” that much easier, and keeps the linear flow intact as Di’Aul lumber to the album’s finale.

I’ve likened Cinieri‘s vocals to High on Fire on “Low Est” before, and especially with the faster progression behind him, I stand by that, but if it seems like I’ve spent a lot of time here talking about his work, it’s because it stands out both in delivery and at the forefront of the album’s actual mix. As they start the rollout of closer “Mother Witch” and hit into an angular verse riff, even subdued, Cinieri is very much a presence in the material — which in the case of the last track is about as close as they come to that Beastwars comparison above. “Mother Witch” is the longest of the individual slabs on Nobody’s Heaven at just over eight minutes — it and the title-cut form a kind of bookend — and uses its extra runtime to patiently execute its verse/chorus tradeoffs, but to find room as well for noise-rock-style starts and stops late and symmetry with its whistle-topped intro and outro, the latter of which leads to the last stomps and eerie noise closing the record as a whole, which echo the underlying ambient bed beneath the guitar opening “Nobody’s Heaven.”

Of course, this underscores the notion of the bookend, and further, the cohesion that pervades the entirety of the full-length. Di’Aul made their debut in 2015 with the burl-laden Garden of Exile (note that the track of the same title didn’t appear there but appears here) and while elements have certainly carried over from one release to the next, it’s plain to hear in these five songs that the band have given due attention to atmospheric weight as well as sheer assault of volume. That works much to their benefit throughout Nobody’s Heaven and whether it’s someone or someplace, belonging to anyone or no one, the record comes across executed mindfully and aware moment by moment of its own impact. That only bodes well as Di’Aul continue to move forward.

Di’Aul on Thee Facebooks

Di’Aul on Bandcamp

Argonauta Records on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records website

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Witchkiss Set July 13 Release for The Austere Curtins of Our Eyes

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 16th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

witchkiss

Down at the bottom of this post you’ll find the stream of the new track by Beacon, New York, heavy riffers Witchkiss. The trio work quickly to show their listeners what they’re all about: heavy-as-hell stomp, a somewhat inhuman feeling post-metal churn, and tonal the likes of which bands usually have to hone over a much longer period of time. Kudos to Witchkiss on the aural assault and on signing to Argonauta Records for the release of their debut long-player, The Austere Curtains of Our Eyes. How much the individual track may represent what Witchkiss do overall, hell if I know, but the song’s worth your time, so by all means, have at it.

Juy 13 is the release date and The Austere Curtains of Our Eyes will be on Argonauta Records, who sent the following update:

witchkiss the austere curtains of our eyes

WITCHKISS signed to ARGONAUTA RECORDS

Argonauta Records is thrilled to announce a new exciting band in the family: WITCHKISS from the States.

Articulate, elegant and ridiculously heavy, WITCHKISS are part of a growing movement coming out of upstate New York in the world of crushingly loud and punishing music. Built around raw emotion, sonic poetry and a sense of longing for a life lost, there is a haunting majesty to the work of WITCHKISS. These Beacon, NY natives are fusing the sounds of bands like Subrosa, Yob and Isis to craft sounds that contemplates the neverending cycle of life and death.

Their upcoming offering, The Austere Curtains Of Our Eyes is a journey through depressed unrealities, punishing truths, and a sense that something better can be made of this world.

Founded by Scott Prater, a longtime metalhead, and his partner Amber Burns, a veritable novice on drums, this debut release has been a long time in the making. With a line-up completed by the thrilling bass playing of Anthony DiBlasi holding down the bands massive bottom end the Hudson scene is buzzing about these new heavyweights. Building on the interplay between eerie female vocals and crushing growls, the groove driven WITCHKISS can’t help but to fascinate. This is the kind of doom metal that fans of Yob, Cult of Luna, Windhand and True Widow can’t help but to love.

Ready to take on the world with an appetite for constant touring, loud riffs and the passion to tackle just about every festival they can, WITCHKISS understand what it takes to grow in the insular art doom community. With music based on raw and uncomfortable emotions, WITCHKISS are striving to bring their craft to the next level. The Austere Curtains Of Our Eyes will be released ARGONAUTA Records and available from July 13th, 2018.

http://facebook.com/witchkissband
https://witchkiss.bandcamp.com/
www.argonautarecords.com
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Witchkiss, “A Cripping Wind”

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