I’m interested to hear what Naples-based trio Tuna de Tierra have in store with their full-length debut. The Italian heavy psych rockers piqued intrigue with their first short outing, EPisode I: Pilot (review here), in 2015. It was a three-songer, and they had some room to grow into their approach, but they offset the initial desert-hued meanderings of “Red Sun” with more propulsive riffing, and thereby set themselves up for a well-balanced sound over the longer-term.
Well, a first album is a crucial step toward getting to that longer term, and Tuna de Tierra‘s will be out via Argonauta Records this Spring, as the label announced. Particularly if you’re invested in the narrative of an underground heavy boom throughout Italy, they might be one to keep an eye on, fitting that bill as they do.
No title or audio yet from the new release, but the label’s announcement follows:
Argonauta Records New signing: TUNA DE TIERRA
We’re proud to announce we’ve inked a deal with Italian Desert Rockers TUNA DE TIERRA.
TUNA DE TIERRA was born in Napoli (Italy) in the first months of 2013 from the long-standing union between Alessio De Cicco (guitar and vocals)and Luciano Mirra (bass guitar), then joined by Jonathan Maurano (actually replaced by Marco Mancaniello) on drums.
Already authors of the acclaimed self produced ep “EPisode I: Pilot” (2015) and available below, TUNA DE TIERRA are giving now final touches to their anticipated new album, to be released in Spring 2017 by Argonauta Records.
You can expect psychedelic sounds from the desert, wide landscape full of sand at the sunset, intolerable warm atmospheres, lysergic imagination nurturing air. Tuna de Tierra leaves for a trip with neither destination nor end, but just the purpose to move endlessly.
Tuna de Tierra is: Alessio De Cicco: guitar, vocals Luciano Mirra: bass guitar Jonathan Maurano: drums
[Click play above to hear ‘Mirrored Parabola Theory’ from Green Meteor’s Consumed by a Dying Sun. Album out April 21 on Argonauta Records.]
From the abiding buzzsaw fuzz that permeates the five included tracks to the samples at the beginning of “Acute Emerald Elevation” and “Sleepless Lunar Dawn” to the comic book cover art that adorns the front cover to the density of groove as they roll out reefer riff after reefer riff, the intention behind Green Meteor‘s Consumed by a Dying Sun seems to be to tap into the raw roots of ’90s-style stoner rock. Fortunately, the Philadelphia four-piece bring a few crucial lessons of modernity with them along this trip through neo-retroism. I don’t recall even early Acid King being this blown-out, for example, and the tonal devouring here from first-names-only guitarists Amy and Leta (the latter also vocals) and the bass of Algar that’s shoved forward by Tony‘s drums does not forget to chew. It has teeth. And bite.
That proved to be the case last year when the band unveiled “Acute Emerald Elevation” (posted here) as a lead-in teaser prior to signing with Argonauta Records for the actual album release, and the same song does well on Consumed by a Dying Sun to let the listener know that while indeed they might be blasting off into space, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride getting there. The key to understanding the record’s utterly-manageable 32-minute run is realizing that Green Meteor are using the roughness of sound to their advantage, giving their aesthetic a garage-derived feel so that the Hawkwind-via-Monster Magnet thrust of the intro to the closing title-track seems as well to be playing off an Uncle Acid mindset in a manner that almost foreshadows the noise-soaked roller apex before the punkier last push of the record as a whole.
All of this happens quickly, but with immersion, and because Green Meteor are so tonally-centered — even Leta‘s voice seems to have been swallowed by the instruments surrounding — Consumed by a Dying Sun is able to work through its material while deceptively changing pace and the intentions of a given song. It is Green Meteor‘s first album, and it sounds like a first album in how the band seems to be working through the process of figuring out where they want to take their material and where they want their material to take them, but as that unfolds, they demonstrate a clear penchant for melding hooks and an underlying focus on songwriting that, while buried like the vocals, remains a present, consistent theme from “Acute Emerald Elevation” onward. Another manner in which Green Meteor prove loyal to the ’90s roots of stoner rock? It’s three minutes into the six-minute opener before the first verse starts.
It would seem to be as close to an eponymous cut as the band is willing to come, rounding out with repetitions of “green meteor” from Leta, who pushes her voice in a manner reminiscent of Stars that Move, and leading to “Sleepless Lunar Dawn” which is the longest track at 9:37 and a mid-paced swing that roughs up and blisses out Sleep-style grooving en route to a snare-mania from Tony that chills for its middle third before resuming in a kind of back-and-forth between languid flow and energetic uptick — intermittent thrusters; it happens — as it aligns planets for the more massively-riffed arrival of centerpiece “In the Shadow of Saturn.” It’s shorter at just over seven minutes, but “In the Shadow of Saturn” brims with addled purpose, and where “Sleepless Lunar Dawn” seems to grow impatient in its back half, here the foursome largely stick to the slow-oozing molasses from whence they begin. There’s a bit of kick here and there, but the primary focus is nod and that suits Green Meteor well at the beginning of what would likely be an LP’s side B.
“In the Shadow of Saturn” caps with radar ping that leads, on rhythm, into the uptempo start of “Mirrored Parabola Theory.” It’s the shortest inclusion at 3:34, and some of that might be due to pace alone, but as Leta finds her way into a memorable stretch ranting about a tilting hourglass — strange things are afoot, but science is happening — toward the end of the track, it’s also the most direct emphasis Green Meteor put on songwriting throughout Consumed by a Dying Sun, and it proves essential between the hypnotic gravitational field of “In the Shadow of Saturn” and the finale’s more blistering cosmic pulsations. Like a radar signal from space to let you know someone’s out there? Maybe. Might be a stretch. There’s telemetry from the probe that needs more analysis, but it’s important to consider that with “Mirrored Parabola Theory,” Green Meteor give clear notice to their listener that their purview includes more traditional structures as well as the kind of all-go explosiveness with which they choose to end “Consumed by a Dying Sun.”
In hindsight, they let you know it’s coming at the start of the track, but by the time it comes around again just past four minutes in, the molten midsection of the closer — a touch of Electric Wizard, more Acid King, more Sleep, lots of noise; no complaints — has melted consciousness away to the point where it’s legitimately an unexpected turn. That’s to the band’s advantage, certainly. They end on a final verse at full speed and an almost surprising amount of human presence amidst the onslaught, and wind up underscoring the primary are-my-speakers-blown wash of Consumed by a Dying Sun with the feeling that our species and the untamed vacuum can in fact coexist in their work. I won’t speculate on how Green Meteor might develop from here or the shifts they could make in aesthetic or which impulses will ultimately win out as they move forward, but Consumed by a Dying Sun deftly asserts honesty in its rawness and is all the more refreshing for that. As far as launch points go, theirs provides a suitable blast.
I’m not entirely sure what a ‘super looper groover’ is or what one does, but that shit is catchy and No Good Advice seem to know it. The Italian four-piece seem to toe the line between stoner and more aggro fare on their debut album, From the Outer Space — as opposed to the Innerspace, lest we have to call up Dennis Quaid, Martin Short and peak-era Meg Ryan (actually, come to think of it, 1987 was “peak-era” all three) — at least if “Super Looper Groover” is anything to go by, but golly they sound like they’re having a good time doing so.
Argonauta Records will have From the Outer Space released on April 28 and preorders are up now if that’s your thing. The posted word that the hook-laden “Super Looper Groover” is available now for public consumption, and you’ll find it below along with the album art and more info on the band.
Have at it:
No Good Advice – From the Outer Space
Italian Stoner Rockers No Good Advice reveal cover artwork and first single from their highly anticipated new album. The song “Super Looper Groover” is available here.
The album “From the Outer Space” will be available from April 28, 2017. The CD edition is enriched by an extensive 24 pages booklet with high quality sci-fi illustrations and themes. Preorders run here: http://bit.ly/2neQfxZ
TRACK-LIST: 1 The Great Dawn 2 Space Surfers 3 Black Monolith 4 Napalm 5 Suicide Inside 6 Stoned Jesus 7 Super Looper Groover 8 Astronaut Superstar 9 Mother of the Void 10 Tears of the Universe 11 Into Your Grave 12 Between the Earth and Space
No Good Advice begin their journey in Turin (Italy) in autumn 2012, from an idea of the founders Livio “Rozzy” Cadeddu (guitar and vocals), Giacomo “Jack Daniel’s” Passarelli (drums) and Enrico “Mr. Reeno” Paternò (bass). After a line-up change Lorenzo “Big Muff” Moffa (guitar) joins the band in the end of 2014.
The result is the creation of songs that embrace the compositional style of “Stoner Rock” with a massive use of persistent and powerful riffs where fast rhythm sections accompany a “seventies” touch.
Louisiana-based prog-metal tinged outfit Forming the Void release their second album, Relic, March 17 via Argonauta Records. The song for which they have a new video premiering below, “Unto the Smoke,” is the second to last track on that record. It arrives after a tumult of winding riffs, soaring shouts and rhythmic pummel, the four-piece outfit working in a range of modern influences from the post-Mastodon/Baroness sphere as they did on their 2016 debut, Skyward (review here), and then turning much of that on its head — they’re consistent in the regard of being quite heavy, despite pace or other aesthetic whatnots — with “Unto the Smoke,” opting for a slow, almost Sleep-minded crashing, lumbering doom riffing. Vocals hold to a sense of melody, but “Unto the Smoke” — well, the name says a lot. Compared to earlier tracks like the rushing “Biolazar” or even the rolling “After Earth,” which opens, it’s a departure from a lot of what Relic offers atmospherically.
If it tells you anything at all, the only thing that follows it is a cover of Led Zeppelin‘s “Kashmir.” Yeah, it’s like that.
You’d almost think Forming the Void have… range? Indeed, listening to the hook-laden “Plumes” before “Unto the Smoke” comes on, their production is steadily geared toward maximum largesse, but the band does work effectively within that to enact a scope between the various tracks. Admirable in intent, but more satisfying in the actual sound, and more so on repeat listens. It’s not a short record at a CD-era-esque 55 minutes — of which that Zeppelin cover accounts for 11 — but as with outfits like Summoner, there’s a purpose to every move the band makes throughout, and their careful execution, even in “Unto the Smoke,” gives Relic a sense of poise to go with that range. Nothing about it, front to back in that 55-minute span, is haphazard.
Hoping to have more to come on this one as we get closer to the release, or, you know, a review three months after the fact since that seems to be the timeline I work on nowadays (hangs head in shame). Either way, you can check out the premiere of “Unto the Smoke” below and beneath that find some comment from guitarist James Marshall about the clip’s origins as well as those of the song itself.
Forming the Void, “Unto the Smoke” official video
James Marshall on “Unto the Smoke”:
“The video was made by a Swiss artist who goes by ‘Gryphus’ who compiled it using clips from John Carpenter’s The Fog. The song itself is one of the more psychedelic songs on the album. There is a lead guitar odyssey at the end where Shadi really draws from his Middle Eastern roots. It’s also the slowest song on the album. The themes of the lyrics are transcendence and mortality.”
Relic by Forming the Void is released on 17th March 2017 via Argonauta Records.
Forming The Void: James Marshall – Guitar/Vocals Shadi Omar Al-Khansa – Guitar Luke Baker – Bass Jordan Boyd – Drums
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan
One-or-two-man Texan noise/sludge outfit Red Beard Wall released its first three-song demo just about a year ago, on Leap Day 2016. It’s still up as a name-your-price download on the band’s Bandcamp page — you can also hear it at the bottom of this post — and it has a tense, tight sound that’s informed by sludge groove without necessarily letting go of its abrasive aspects long enough to permit the genre’s fuckall to really take hold. That is, Red Beard Wall sound too pissed off on a song like “Top of the Mountain” to nod out. Still, there’s an air of the experimental underlying the whole thing, so who the hell knows where the album will end up.
Well, I guess Argonauta Records — which will issue Red Beard Wall‘s self-titled debut album this Spring — probably has a pretty good idea. I don’t, is the point I was making. The Italian label’s roster continues to grow wider and weirder, both of which are good things, and an act like Red Beard Wall would seem to bring something immediately all its own as well.
Here’s the announcement:
Red Beard Wall – Argonauta Records
We’re excited to announce a new great band is now part of Argonauta Records family: RED BEARD WALL from United States.
Red Beard Wall was born on the dry, windswept plains of West Texas, at the culmination of 2016. Formed out of a desire to channel his angst, and frustration with the insane reality that surrounds us. With a hyper focus on heavy, hooky, and to the point songs.
Riffs with devastatingly heavy tones, vocals melodies that soar, alongside blistering screams of disillusionment. Influenced by amazing bands such as, Floor, Helmet, Conan, Yob, Pallbearer, Baroness, and countless others.
The band says: “As a band we are extremely honored, privileged, and humbled by our partnership with the mighty Argonauta Records. We are motivated towards, and look forward to a bright future with, in our opinion the best up and coming label in the world”.
Red Beard Wall’s highly anticipated self titled debut record will be out in Spring 2017 on Argonauta Records.
[Stream Void Cruiser’s Wayfarer in full by clicking play above. Album is out Feb. 27 on Argonauta Records.]
Though they seem to operate solely under a spaced-out thematic — members credited with “low frequency engine,” “battering apparatus,” and so on — the actual stylistic range with which Finland’s Void Cruiser operate feels much broader. Rather than simply live by the “what would Hawkwind do?” ethic, the Helsinki four-piece’s second album, Wayfarer (also their debut on Argonauta Records), follows 2015’s self-released Overstaying My Welcome and 2013’s Motherload EP and lives up to its name in the kind of meandering path it takes between aesthetics. Space is a factor for sure, but as they play between longer-form pieces like “I Didn’t Lie but I Know Now that I Should Have” and closer “Maailman Kallein Kaupunki” and the quicker shots of “As We Speak” and “All over Nowhere,” Void Cruiser actively defy pigeonholing any more specific than catchalls like “heavy” or “atmospheric,” and set their course for variety over redundancy.
With seven tracks and a 46-minute runtime, Wayfarer is substantial but not unmanageable, and the lineup of guitarist/vocalist Santeri “S-Salo” Salo, bassist/backing vocalist Lassi “T-Hug” Tähtinen, guitarist/backing vocalist Vili “V-Salo” Salo and drummer Teemu “T-Bag” Rantanen bring considerable breadth and personality to the material, commanding the turns they’re making rather than being led by them. Further, because even songs like “Madonnas and Whores” and “Seven Years Late,” which are relatively straightforward in their structure, have a marked tonal largesse and sense of patience, Wayfarer ties together its diverse sonic proposals with an overarching spaciousness of production that makes it all the more immersive to the listener. Surprises abound, but none of the moves Void Cruiser make feel out of place in a way they’re not intended to be. Some, however, are very definitely intended to be.
The prevailing first impression is one of patience as they begin with the rumble and slow roll of the introductory “A Day on Which No Man was Born,” starting with a low-toned drone and moving into an instrumental progression of slow nod that runs over five minutes, setting the listener up for some of Wayfarer‘s more heavy psychedelic aspects as they continue to play out in the subsequent “I Didn’t Lie but I Know Now that I Should Have.” Cumbersome in its name, the second track is likewise patient in how it unfurls, blending grunge — particularly in Santeri‘s vocals — with a languid drift as it makes a chorus of its title-line in its first half before shifting post-midpoint into more of a jam, vocals and all, as they build toward a shouted apex à la Facelift-era Alice in Chains, the key difference being the depth of mix surrounding Void Cruiser and the wash of wah in the solo that proceeds to lead them out of the song over the next couple minutes.
That turn to belting it out is the first clue of Void Cruiser‘s sonic range, and “As We Speak” adds to it immediately with a classic stoner feel run through the aforementioned effects-driven spaciousness. The vocals indulge a scream that speaks to some underlying metallic influence, but “As We Speak” feels more like a Lowrider single played at two-thirds speed than anything aggressive, even in that brief moment, and at 3:32, the shortest track on Wayfarer boosts the forward push that’s been subtly working all along with its quicker tempo ending giving way to “Madonnas and Whores” as the centerpiece. Despite ultra-prevalent low end, the beginning of the seven-minute “Madonnas and Whores” still holds to some rhythmic swing, but plays out moodier through its early verses and choruses, and the hook almost has a tinge of Southern metal as it stomps into a bridge that cuts suddenly just past the four-minute mark into a psych-jam of steady rumble and guitar noodling that comes back around in time for a full-boar solo finish into some hit-stops that bring the song to a close before an obscure sample presumably draws down an intended vinyl side A.
Perhaps the most unexpected transition on Wayfarer arrives in the form of “Seven Years Late,” which while consistent tonally with its surroundings takes on a goth-metal brooding that seems drawn directly from Type O Negative in its guitar work, in its play between slower and faster tempos, its low-voiced spoken part and the backing gang vocals that show up toward the end of its six-minute run. Void Cruiser telegraph the influence via the guitars early, so it’s not like they’re trying to get away with something, but while songs hint at metallurgy prior, the fuller dive of “Seven Years Late” kicks off side B with a genuine blindside punch that, as it gives way to the 4:38 thrust of the penultimate “All over Nowhere” barely has time to be as out of place as it feels like it should be and somehow isn’t. A rocker like “As We Speak” before it, “All over Nowhere” holds to the thickness of the album as a whole and has its context changed somewhat by “Seven Years Late,” but stands up to the task of re-centering Wayfarer in order that 10-minute finale “Maailman Kallein Kaupunki” can set resolutely to its charge of summarizing the record as a whole.
Unsurprisingly, the bassline helps a lot, especially early. Void Cruiser build through psych-grunge atmospheric rock, and top that low end with airy guitar work before solidifying around a forward progression, the lyrics in Finnish, that even seems to tip its hat toward the Type O Negative-ity of “Seven Years Late” as it rolls through its middle, eventually slowing to a nod that seems like it’s going to come apart entirely before eight minutes in, only to have a Kyuss-style desert riff take off at a sprint from the morass. The last push is one more surprise from an outing that’s offered plenty of them, and as they cut short and rumble their way out on a fade before hitting 10:00 flat, one almost can’t be certain there won’t be something else still to come.
Creating that feeling of unpredictability over the course of a single LP isn’t easy, and it’s commendable as a basic intention, but what makes Wayfarer stand out even more is how fluidly Void Cruiser navigate these aesthetic planes, pitting one element next to but not necessarily against the other in order to craft something more individual from them. This is a key factor in Wayfarer‘s success, but of course the occasional bit of rocking the hell out doesn’t hurt either.
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 20th, 2017 by JJ Koczan
So here’s my understanding of what’s going on with Elephant Bell‘s Gates of Dawn. The Finnish four-piece — not to be confused with emergent UK heavy rockers Elephant Tree — have been issuing short releases since the early aughts. Demos and EPs. In 2011, they offered up a self-titled full-length debut. That album was initially announced as being reissued through Argonauta last fall, and at the time, it could still be streamed from Elephant Bell‘s Bandcamp page. Okay.
You’ll note the player in that news post is now empty. As I read the below, what seems to be the situation is that Elephant Bell‘s Elephant Bell has been reworked to some degree as Gates of Dawn and will now be out April 28 via Argonauta. There’s a new video for “Come to the Show” that you can see at the bottom of this post. Just how much as been done to it versus the form the self-titled took five years ago, I’ve no idea, but that’s my interpretation of what’s happened here. I could be completely wrong. It could be a completely new album. I’m doing the best I can.
Either way: Elephant Bell. April 28. Gates of Dawn. Argonauta. Sometimes I don’t know why I bother trying to think.
Finnish Stoner Rockers ELEPHANT BELL release cover artwork and first single from their highly anticipated debut album.
The official video-clip of the song “Come to See the Show” is available here.
Featuring LOWBURN member Tomi Mykkanen and mastered by Karl Daniel Lidén (GREENLEAF and DOZER) , “Gates of Dawn” (the revamped version of the “self-titled” one previously available digitally) is a colossal album influenced by the first ‘stoner’ era and by bands as Monster Magnet, Fu Manchu, with a touch of grunge-like sonorities as Soundgarden.
ELEPHANT BELL “Gates of Dawn” will be released in CD by Argonauta Records and available from April 28th, 2017.
TRACKLIST: 1. So Pure 2. Demon Seducer 3. The Sun Is Going Down 4. Come To See the Show 5. Escape 6. Dreamwheel 7. Bug In the Soup 8. The Sweet Babylon 9. Mojo Filter 10. Straight to Hell 11. The Last Scene
Elephant Bell is: Tommy Waits – vocals, guitar Tom C. Johnson – guitar, vocals J.J. Strangler – bass, vocals Migis Thunderthrone – drums
Posted in Whathaveyou on February 15th, 2017 by JJ Koczan
If a three-part concept record feels like an ambitious rollout for a full-length debut, you’re right, it is. Roman post-metallers Otus issued 7.83Hz last year, digitally and as a gorgeously-packaged, limited run of CDs. On March 20, they’ll follow-through with a pressing via Argonauta Records, whose diverse roster only continues to expand at a rate with which it’s nigh on impossible to keep pace. 7.83Hz tops an unmanageable 77 minutes in its original form, and one doesn’t imagine it’s been pared down for this reissue, but as you can hear in the Bandcamp stream below, Otus have a lot of ground to cover in that time and, well, sometimes swallowing your listeners whole takes a while. Needless to say, much crushing ensues.
Info follows, culled from Argonauta and Otus‘ Bandcamp page:
Italian Doom Sludgers OTUS reveal cover artwork and first single from their forthcoming album.
Born in 2012, OTUS takes elements of post-metal/sludge bands as Isis and Cult of Luna, passing through the Black Sabbath’s doom up to the experimental music of Tool, Om and Sunn O))). The band enrich their sound playing ethnic instruments, building their own synthesizers, chanting mantras and taking particular care of their visual and symbolic identity, from poster art to visual projections.
7.83Hz is a concept album divided in 3 chapters and inspired by Timothy Leary’s quote: Turn on, Tune in, Drop Out.
This musical journey intends to be more empirical and scientific rather than religious/orthodox, showing a possible way to reach the “Doors of Perception”, to tune in with the Universe and finally to reach a lucid detachment.
The conscious “Emptiness” reached through spiritual practices such as meditation and recitation of mantra, takes shape in the 70 minutes of musical solutions contained in this record, reaching their fulcrum at the frequency of 7.83 HZ also known as “Buddha’s frequency”. Surprisingly, when analyzing the frequencies given in response by an electroencephalogram of a person in deep meditation (Alpha & Theta waves), it turns out the coincidence that the earth’s magnetic field happens to be also 7.83 HZ as discovered by the German physicist Winfried Otto Schumann.
If meditation is a way to tune in with what surrounds us, Schumann’s resonance frequency seems to emphasize this concept even more and make it concrete.
OTUS “7.83Hz” will be available in two editions: limited digipack CD with exstensive graphic and digisleeve CD. To be released by Argonauta Records and available from March 20th, 2017.