Blowup Vol. 2: Complete Lineup Confirmed

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 24th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

In October, just as an ultra-busy Fall festival season begins to wind down so everyone can go back and record new albums, Helsinki venue Korjaamo will play host to Blowup Vol. 2. With the likes of Conan, Monolord, Lucifer and native Finnish acts like Skepticism, Oranssi Pazuzu, Lord Vicar, Atomikylä, Albinö Rhino and Morbid Evils, the broad and often bizarre spectrum of the country’s heavy scene is well represented, and those selected from outside Finland’s borders show a keen curation process at work.

The fest is set for Oct. 14 and 15, and will also feature a live-scored cinematic showing of 1967’s banned documentary, Titicut Follies, about a patient in a mental hospital in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, which by amazing coincidence is the next town over from where I live. Go figure.

The final lineup and show info came down the PR wire:

blowup-vol-2-poster

Blowup Vol. 2

October 14-15
Korjaamo
Töölönkatu 51 a-b, 00250 Helsinki

BlowUp Vol. 2 is taking place 14 -15 October 2016 in Helsinki, Finland. The venue is Korjaamo Culture Factory, one of the largest independent art centres in the Nordic countries. Korjaamo was founded in an old tram depot in Töölö in 2004, and now hosts a concert venue as well as six smaller creative spaces for meetings and seminars plus movie theatre. The Vaunuhalli building is also home to Helsinki City Museum’s Tram Museum.

Blowup Vol. 2 also offers the cinematic art. Titicut Follies is directed by Frederick Wiseman documentary in 1967, which follows the lives of Massachusetts Bridgewater inmate in a mental hospital. Although the movie was awarded with freshly festivals in Germany and Italy, the United States, it crashed into censorship. Titicut Follies was shown to the public for the first time only in 1992. At Blowup Vol 2 it is presented in the early evening on Friday, 14 October.

Titicut Follies screen will be accompanied by Veli-Matti O. “Heap” Äijälän and Markku Leinonen, duo that made new music for the movie, which will necessarily be heard a second time.

Final line up for Blowup Vol. 2:

Friday 14.10.2016
Lucifer (UK)
Bastard Noise (US)
Oranssi Pazuzu (FIN)
Au-Dessus (LT)
Atomikylä (FIN)

Friday 14.10.2016
Film concert: Titicut Follies (Frederick Wiseman, 1967)
Score by Veli-Matti O. Äijälä & Markku Leinonen
http://www.zipporah.com/films/22
https://www.facebook.com/events/173514406381582/

Saturday 15.10.2016
Conan (UK)
Monolord (SWE)
Skepticism (FIN)
Lord Vicar (FIN)
Albinö Rhino & Morbid Evils (FIN) – Split Live Experience.

https://www.facebook.com/events/977786362259558/
https://www.tiketti.fi/Blowup-Festival-Vol-2-Korjaamo-Helsinki-lippuja/36753

Atomikylä, Keräily (2016)

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audiObelisk Transmission 058

Posted in Podcasts on July 21st, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Click Here to Download

 

In my defense, I’ll say it’s been a really hectic couple months. Truth be told, even I think it’s been a really long time since the last podcast, so if you do too, at very least we agree on it. If the tradeoff for that is getting to use a bunch of new tracks, some of which have been featured around here for streaming — like Foghound, Monkey3, Slomatics, Comet Control, Mindkult, New Planet Trampoline, etc. — and some of which haven’t shown up around this site yet — Besvärjelsen, Monolord, King Buffalo, Fungal Abyss, Landing, etc. — then I think it’s a decent tradeoff to make. Listening back to it now that it’s finished, as is my tradition, I dig it.

And of course I hope you dig it as well. We start at full run with Foghound and add some boogie to the mix with Långfinger before crashing into the wall of riffs that is Monolord and digging into the garage swing of Mindkult, so right off the bat there’s a decent amount of ground covered, and it only gets weirder as it moves forward, but hopefully even more immersive as well. The second hour, and really from New Planet Trampoline on, keep an open mind and try to just go where the sounds go. It should be a satisfying trip either way.

Track details follow:

First Hour:

0:00:00 Foghound, “Message in the Sky” from The World Unseen
0:03:58 Långfinger, “Feather Beader” from Crossyears
0:08:20 Monolord, “Lord of Suffering” from Lord of Suffering/Die in a Haze
0:14:44 Mindkult, “Witch’s Oath” from Witch’s Oath
0:20:34 Besvärjelsen, “Havets Sista Vals” from Exil
0:27:48 King Buffalo, “Kerosene” from Orion
0:33:46 Slomatics, “Super Nothing” from Future Echo Returns
0:37:36 Monkey3, “Dead Planet’s Eyes” from Astra Symmetry
0:42:06 New Planet Trampoline, “Acts of Mania” from Dark Rides and Grim Visions
0:51:03 Comet Control, “Artificial Light” from Center of the Maze

Second Hour:

1:00:52 Landing, “Morning Sun” from Third Light
1:15:10 Fungal Abyss, “Perfumed Garden” from Karma Suture
1:37:20 Atomikylä, “Katkos” from Keräily

Total running time: 1:55:09

 

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 058

 

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Quarterly Review: Atomikylä, Sunnata, White Dynomite, Horehound, Sulfur Giant, New Planet Trampoline, Hypnos, Honky, Cheap Wine, Gurt & Trippy Wicked

Posted in Reviews on June 24th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-summer-2016-quarterly-review

This one’s for all the marbles. Or at very least tiddlywinks. The last day of The Obelisk’s Summer 2016 Quarterly Review begins. I’ll admit that when I was planning this out — started soon after the last Quarterly Review was finished in early April; that one ran late, this one has run early — I decided to take it easy on myself the last day. Still 10 reviews, so not that easy, but in terms of what’s included today, a lot of is stuff I feel pretty comfortable talking about, whether it’s bands I’ve covered before (which a lot of it is, now that I look at the list) or whatever. If you’ve been keeping up this week, thanks. I hope you found some cool music.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Atomikylä, Keräily

atomikyla Keraily

From the Finnish hotbed of Tampere, Atomikylä made a striking impression with their 2014 Svart Records debut, Erkale (review here), giving a take on psychedelic black metal that was immediately and truly their own in its balance of elements. The band, featuring members of Dark Buddha Rising and Oranssi Pazuzu, return with doom-jazz fervor on sophomore full-length, Keräily, with three songs covering yet-unnamed stylistic reaches and offering a get-to-the-studio-and-see-what-happens experimentalism to go with their plotted course on 18-minute opener and longest track (bonus points) “Katkos,” which is followed by the building horn freakout “Risteily” (9:15), from which a space rock push takes hold on drums, resulting in maddening guitar swirl – because of course – and closer “Pakoputki” (6:55), which consumes with a darker thrust and more up-front blackened vibe that still holds onto some of the psychedelia in its layers of guitar. Keräily progresses effectively from Atomikylä’s debut and highlights just how individualized they are as a group. They continue to have the potential to do really special work, and the argument is easy to make they’re already doing it.

Atomikylä on Thee Facebooks

Svart Records

Sunnata, Zorya

sunnata zorya

As opener and longest track (bonus points) “Beasts of Prey” careens toward its apex finish near the 12-minute mark and the title-track begins is crashing, harmonized intro before moving into an Alice in Chains-via-stoner verse, the distance Poland’s Sunnata cover on their second full-length, Zorya, begins to really unveil itself. There doesn’t seem to be a genre within the heavy sphere that’s off limits. They never get into death metal, but heavy rock, doom, psychedelia, prog, sludge – it’s all in play at one point or another in Zorya’s five-track/50-minute run. The reason the album works and isn’t just a haphazard mash of styles is because Sunnata, who’ve been active in Warsaw since the last decade, make each one their own and thus bend genre to suit their purposes and not the other way around. They continue to impress through the rush of “Long Gone,” the airy expanse of “New Horizon” and the more brooding closer “Again and Against,” conjuring effective flow from what in less capable hands would be disparate components.

Sunnata on Thee Facebooks

Sunnata on Bandcamp

White Dynomite, Action O’Clock

white dynomite action oclock

I have kind of a hard time with White Dynomite. Not musically – the Boston five-piece’s new EP, Action O’Clock (on Ripple) typifies their accessible punk rock; a reminder of a time when the style used guitars – but conceptually. Their lineup features bassist Tim Catz and vocalist Craig Riggs (on drums) of Roadsaw, as well as guitarist Pete Knipfing (also Hey Zeus, Lamont), vocalist Dave Unger and guitarist John Darga, and while I can’t argue with the charm of a track like “Werewolf Underwear” or “Evil Ballerina” — the lyric “Tutu woman, too too much for me” alone makes Action O’Clock worth the price of admission, let alone “I got fangs in my pants” from “Werewolf Underwear” – but I haven’t yet been able to listen to the band in the context of it having been six years since the last time Roadsaw released an album, and thinking about years passing, priorities and whatnot. They sound they’re having a blast all the way through, and I won’t begrudge them exploring other influences, I guess I just miss that band.

White Dynomite on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music website

Horehound, Horehound

horehound horehound

Pittsburgh newcomers Horehound formed just last year, so one might go into their self-titled debut full-length thinking it’s an early arrival, but in an unpretentious seven-track/33-minute collection of straightforward but engaging doom rockers, the five-piece demonstrate a clear idea of what they want to do sonically. While it may not represent where they’ll ultimately end up as a band, its songs sound fleshed out in terms of direction and the resultant feel on the release is much more album than demo. So be it. A particular highlight is “The Waters of Lethe,” on which a sweeter melody emerges in the guitar and vocals, but neither will I discount the low-end crunch and vocal call-and-response in closer “Waking Time” or the more uptempo thrust of second cut “Sangreal.” Not that Horehound don’t have room to grow, but their initial offering preaches well to the converted and should give them a solid foundation to work from in that process.

Horehound on Thee Facebooks

Horehound on Bandcamp

Sulfur Giant, Beyond the Hollow Mountain

sulfur giant beyond the hollow mountain

Beyond the Hollow Mountain is the first full-length from Portuguese mostly-instrumentalists Sulfur Giant, who bring together influences from classic progressive rock, psychedelia and heavy rock so that when they dip into Iommic riffing on “Vertigo,” it’s no stranger than the peaceful jamming of “Whisper at Dawn,” which follows. Friendly if not exactly innovative, Sulfur Giant’s debut makes its chief impression with the four-piece’s instrumental chemistry, which brings about an easy flow within and between the eight tracks, which having already been issued digitally will see vinyl release later this year on Pink Tank Records. It’s hard to ignore what organ adds to “Evermore,” but “Sea of Stone” sneaks in some vocals amid its thicker-riffing and Sungrazer-style exploration, and “Magnolia” and the galloping “Unleash Fears” follow suit, so Sulfur Giant have a few tricks up their collective sleeve they hold back from the initial roll and gallop of the opening title-track. All the better.

Sulfur Giant on Thee Facebooks

Pink Tank Records

New Planet Trampoline, Dark Rides and Grim Visions

new planet trampoline dark rides and grim visions

Never say never in rock and roll. From Cleveland, Ohio, the psych-rocking four-piece New Planet Trampoline called it quits in 2008, leaving behind an unfinished album. After coming back together for 2014’s The Wisconsin Witch House EP, the ‘60s-stylized outfit set themselves to the task of finishing what became Dark Rides and Grim Visions, basking in the glow of early Floyd, Beatles and others of the ilk while keeping a harder edge to songs like “Grim Visions” and a healthy cynicism to “We’ll Get What We Deserve” and the tongue-in-cheek keyboard-laced closer “Haunted as Fuck.” Of the several more extended tracks, the nine-minute “Acts of Mania” is the longest, and provides suitable patience and atmospherics to stand up to its scope. All told, Dark Rides and Grim Visions is a formidable journey at 13 songs/68 minutes, but after more than half a decade away, it’s hard to hold New Planet Trampoline having their say against them, particularly when that say is as lush and dreamy as “This is the Morning.”

New Planet Trampoline on Thee Facebooks

New Planet Trampoline on Bandcamp

Hypnos, Cold Winds

hypnos cold winds

With their second LP, Cold Winds (on Crusher Records), Gothenburg’s Hypnos seem to be betting that the next step in the retro game is NWOBHM. They make a convincing argument; it’s kind of how it went the first time around, and their songwriting offers a top-notch look at the moment where Thin Lizzy bounce became Iron Maiden gallop, as on second cut “I’m on the Run,” just minutes after opener “Start the Hunt” featured a flute solo. Broken into two sides, each one works its way toward a longer finale – “Det Kommer en Dag” (7:23) on side A and “1800” (8:32) on side B – but sonic diversity and changes in song structure throughout do much to keep Cold Winds from feeling overly plotted, and like their countrymen in Horisont, Hypnos offer a seamless melding of classic heavy rock and metal, soaring and scorching on “Descending Sun (Unrootables White)” and swinging and swaggering immediately thereafter on “Cold September,” both accomplished with unwavering command.

Hypnos on Thee Facebooks

Hypnos at Crusher Records

Honky, Corduroy

honky corduroy

Texas boogie rockers Honky were last heard from with 2012’s 421 – which I’ll assume is the “going to 11” equivalent for getting high – and their eighth outing, Corduroy, finds bassist JD Pinkus (Butthole Surfers, Melvins) and guitarist Bobby Ed Landgraf (Down) hooked up with drummer Trinidad Leal of Dixie Witch and Housecore Records for the release. To call is business as usual for the underrated outfit in the classic swing and grit they hone would only be a compliment, songs like “Baby Don’t Slow Down,” “Bad Stones” and the harmonized “Double Fine” offering soul as much as push, ‘70s influences given a modern kick in the ass throughout as a swath of guests, including Melvins drummer Dale Crover, come and go, perhaps none making their presence felt as much as Rae Comeau, whose work on “Bad Stones” makes that song a highlight – not to take away from the a capella cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Moby Dick,” here retitled as “Mopey Dick,” that closes. Chicanery ensues, booze flows, good times are had for those who’ll have them.

Honky website

Housecore Records website

Cheap Wine, Sad Queen

cheap wine sad queen

Distinguished as on centerpiece “The Rambler” by their use of organ amid a semi-retro heavy boogie style, French five-piece Cheap Wine recorded Sad Queen – as the cover art says – live for Celebration Days Records. It’s somewhere between an EP and album, and strips away some of the individual track length of their 2013 debut, Mystic Crow, in favor of maximizing the energy put into each piece, the subdued “Intro” and “Opening” that start sides A and B, respectively, aside, though as “Opening” feeds cleanly into the quiet, airy and soulful beginning of the title-track, even that seems to have a tension that builds toward its eventual release, different from the shuffling raucousness of the post-“Intro” opener “Cyclothymic” maybe, but palpable nonetheless. They close somewhat melancholy on “Yesterday’s Dream,” but the complementary guitar of Valentin Constestin and keys of Ahn Tuan aren’t to be missed, nor how well work in concert with vocalist Mathieu Devillers, bassist Valentin Lallart and drummer Louis Morati.

Cheap Wine on Thee Facebooks

Celebration Days Records website

Gurt & Trippy Wicked and teh Cosmic Children of the Knight, Guppy

gurt trippy wicked guppy

The UK heavy scene excels at not taking itself too seriously. To wit, Gurt and Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight get together for a split (on When Planets Collide for CD and HeviSike cassette) and, they call it Guppy and the first two songs are “Owlmegeddon” and “Super Fun Happy Slide.” It kind of goes from there. Recorded together, sharing a drummer and collaborating on the centerpiece, “Revolting Child,” it’s basically two outfits who are close friends coming together to have a good time, but that doesn’t take away from Gurt’s sludgy intensity on “I Regret Nothing” or the nodding heavy rock Trippy Wicked hold forth on closer “Reign.” Taking its title from the two band names put together, one can only wonder if this will be the last conjoined offering Gurt and Trippy Wicked will make, or if there might be a whole school of guppies in the future. Frankly, this sounds like too good a party to only throw it once.

Gurt on Thee Facebooks

Trippy Wicked on Thee Facebooks

When Planets Collide website

HeviSike Records

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Roadburn 2016 Audio Streams: The Skull, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, Bang, Atomikylä, Abyssion, Tau Cross, Sinistro, Oranssi Pazuzu, Repulsion and Dark Buddha Rising

Posted in audiObelisk on May 11th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

Brothers of the Sonic Cloth at Roadburn 2016 (Photo by JJ Koczan)

Some good shit here. I was bummed to miss Atomikylä and Oranssi Pazuzu both at Roadburn 2016, but having caught the likes of Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, The Skull, Bang, Tau Cross and Repulsion, it’s not like you’re going to find me complaining. Even less so now, since though we’re not yet a month out from when the festival actually took place in its home of Tilburg, the Netherlands, the first round of the traditional audio streams have arrived. All of the above mentioned are included, as well as Sinistro, Dark Buddha Rising and Abyssion, making it a pretty succinct summary of the breadth of the fest as a whole, from warm-toned classic rock to raging grind and black metal to the dreariest depths of doom. Yup, that about covers it.

As always, these streams were captured by Marcel van de Vondervoort — who also played this year with Astrosoniq; can’t wait till their set gets posted — and I’m thrilled to host them both for the memories they bring back and for the chance to hear stuff I didn’t get to see. I don’t mind telling you and I don’t think I’m giving away any state secrets when I say it was a hard transition back to real life this year, so to have a bit of escapism in the form of these sets is most welcome.

I hope you also enjoy digging in:

Abyssion – Live at Roadburn 2016

Atomikyla – Live at Roadburn 2016

Bang – Live at Roadburn 2016

Brothers of the Sonic Cloth – Live at Roadburn 2016

Dark Buddha Rising – Live at Roadburn 2016

Oranssi Pazuzu – Live at Roadburn 2016

Repulsion – Live at Roadburn 2016

Tau Cross – Live at Roadburn 2016

Sinistro – Live at Roadburn 2016

The Skull – Live at Roadburn 2016 (Thursday, April 14)

The Skull – Live at Roadburn 2016 (Friday, April 15 – playing Trouble’s Psalm 9 in its entirety)

Special thanks as always to Walter for letting me host the streams. For all of this site’s coverage of Roadburn 2016, click here.

Roadburn’s website

Marcel Van De Vondervoort on Thee Facebooks

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Atomikylä to Release Keräily April 29

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 12th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

atomikyla

This is good news. Finnish psychedelic black metallers Atomikylä tip the balance from one side to the other better than the vast, vast majority of those I’ve heard try. The difference? Production value is part of it — Atomikylä‘s 2014 debut, Erkale (review here), was lush in the true sense of creating a tonal wash, and among the elements of heavy psychedelia it incorporated was a true sense of sonic depth, not trying to sound thin and tinny as so much rawer black metal does, but crafting something you might really call encompassing. Making the listener part of the ritual, as opposed to just a spectator.

Best case scenario would be to continue that vibe, but I have the feeling a band this creative isn’t necessarily going to rest on their laurels one album to the next. They’re at Roadburn 2016 this week and I’m very much looking forward to picking this one up:

Atomikyla Keraily

ATOMIKYLÄ set release date for SVART debut, to play Roadburn

The dark psychedelic underground in Tampere, Finland is one of the most vividly creative musical collectives in the scene on the planet today, with such bands as Oranssi Pazuzu and Dark Buddha Rising both considered masters of the uncharted territory in metal. Sprouting from the confines of the joint rehearsal space Wastement comes Atomikylä, a psychic joining of forces of members from both bands. Atomikylä is liberation through sound. It is the nightside of the collective unconscious and a means of escape from the confines of norm and comfort. Smashing walls with a wall of sound, Atomikylä are set to release their second album, Keräily, through Svart Records.

Atomikylä took their name (“nuclear village”) from a village of abandoned barracks in Tampere. The barracks were originally used to house workers constructing a nuclear power plant in the ’80s, after which they were dragged to the roadside in suburban Tampere and abandoned. Populated for years by drunks and junkies, the small shunned village was demolished a few years ago. The band Atomikylä dwells in a similar mental setting – radiant but lowly, dangerous and unpredictable, barred from normal life.

Keräily will be available at the Roadburn festival this week, and in shops from April 29th onwards. Cover and tracklisting are as follows:

Tracklisting for Atomikylä’s Keräily
1. Katkos
2. Risteily
3. Pakoputki

www.facebook.com/atomikyla
www.svartrecords.com
www.facebook.com/svartrecords
www.youtube.com/svartrecords
www.twitter.com/svartrecords

Atomikylä, “Musta Kulta”

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Roadburn 2016 Tickets on Sale Today; Massive Lineup Update

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 2nd, 2015 by JJ Koczan

At this point, you almost expect that sooner or later in the lineup-addition stage of any Roadburn, you’re going to have to throw your hands up in the air and say, “Fucking hell, Roadburn,” because the roster of bands has become that ridiculous and/or the scope of the thing has just become so overwhelmingly righteous that you’re pretty much left with no alternative beyond staring in awe. Seems early in the season for it, but that’s me, right now. Fucking hell, Roadburn.

Tickets are on sale today.

Before I get into how stoked I am on the Finnish takeover, let me say how awesome I think it is that Tau Cross will play — an exclusive, mind you — set on the same day as Amenra and Neurosis. Seems like maybe a similar feel that brought Enslaved into Wardruna into Skuggsja this year, the vibe building as the day goes on, leading to an inevitable apex that speaks to the whole and expands on it. I hold my breath and hope I get to go back, because that apex will be Neurosis celebrating their 30th anniversary in 2016.

Lee Dorrian adds Pentagram and Galley Beggar. Fucking a. Roadburn continues its affinity for creative black metal, adding Iceland’s Misþyrming as what seems like a particularly daring artist-in-residence. Fucking a. Swedes Hills and reactivated German psych-jammers Zone Six get added, and I start to feel like the universe is doing me favors.

AND THEN we get around to the Finnish takeover. Dark Buddha Rising still haunt from the last time they played Roadburn. Hexvessel were already announced, but I’m particularly stoked at the mere possibility I might get to catch MPHMr. Peter Hayden — again or see Atomikylä, whose blown-out blackened psych extremity seems to be a direct summary of a lot of what Roadburn is about these days. Very cool band that I think have thus far flown under a lot of people’s radar. Obviously not that of Roadburn 2016.

Like the headline says, it’s a massive update. Have at you:

Further additions to ROADBURN FESTIVAL ahead of ticket launch

TAU CROSS to play their first European show at Roadburn 2016

PENTAGRAM and GALLEY BEGGAR are the first bands confirmed for Lee Dorrian’s curation.

ROADBURN’S Artists in Residence are confirmed as Icelandic pioneers MISÞYRMING

Plus even more bands announced ahead of tickets going on sale today – October 2nd.

TAU CROSS
TAU CROSS, the veteran punk / metal collective, revolving around Amebix bassist/frontman Rob Miller, Voivod drummer Michel ‘Away’ Langevin, and members of cult crust outfit Misery, will be playing a one off show at Roadburn 2016, along with Neurosis and Amenra, on Saturday, April 16th at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

“TAU CROSS are delighted to announce that we have been invited to play at the 2016 Roadburn Festival. This will be our only upcoming European show, we are all looking forward to playing at this very special event” – Rob Miller.

Having TAU CROSS on the main-stage is causing us joy of unbridled proportions. Miller and Langevin are not only mutual admirers and peers, but their bands have been a huge influence on all things Roadburn. With all of the seminal bands and great musicians taking part on Saturday, it’s guaranteed to be epic.

To find out more about TAU CROSS at Roadburn, click HERE

LEE DORRIAN’S FIRST CURATED BANDS
When Lee was asked to curate part of Roadburn 2016, there was an expectation of great things. And his first choices do not disappoint.
On his choice to add the legendary PENTAGRAM – who will perform a special “best of” set – to the line up, he comments:

“They have been one of my all time favourite bands since first hearing them back in the mid 80’s. I became an obsessive fan covering my old apartment with flyers and intensely collecting as many live tapes, videos, photo’s and whatever else I could get my hands on back then.
I’m am completely honoured that they agreed to accept my invitation to appear at my curated event, Rituals For the Blind Dead! This greatest hits performance will be a big party in celebration of the bands long and treasured career. With Victor back flying out those riffs like flaming balls of fire it’s going to be so relentless, I simply cannot wait.”

Dorrian’s second addition is London’s GALLEY BEGGAR. The six-piece acid folk troupe released their third album earlier this year – a record that is sure to feature in Roadburn’s album of the year lists. He comments:

“They are one of very few bands around today that understand the timeless beauty of acid-tinged folk-rock. In the true spirit of classic era Fairport, Trees, Spriguns, Mellow Candle and other contemporary kindred spirits their gentle, yet melancholic will act as the perfect refrain from all the dark, beastly heaviness surrounding the event.”

To find out more about PENTAGRAM click HERE, and GALLEY BEGGAR click HERE

ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE: MISÞYRMING
Historically speaking, Roadburn’s Artist in Residence is usually an older, established act or musician, one who’s spent decades honing their skills and cultivating a worldwide reputation, but this year will be different. In 2016, Roadburn will welcome a new, young band that has exploded onto the international stage with the force of a neutron bomb, thanks to a crystal-clear, forward-thinking vision and the impeccable quality of their work.

During their residency, Misþyrming will play three shows at Roadburn.The first, Algleymi, (Thursday 14 April) will see the band debuting highly-anticipated new material. The second and most transcendent appearance is Úlfsmessa (Friday 15 April) Joined by the Icelandic black metal and black metal-influenced ritual drone bands Naðra, NYIÞ and Grafir, Misþyrming will present an intense, immersive collaborative performance, ten members strong, that will both reaffirm and redefine any devotee’s commitment to black metal supremacy. The final chapter of their residency will be Söngvar elds go óreiðu (Saturday 16 April) which will comprise a performance of their earth-shaking first album in its entirety.

To find out more about MISÞYRMING (with thanks to Kim Kelly and Noisey) at Roadburn, click HERE

THE FINNISH TAKEOVER.
With a clutch of such definitive and inventive bands all hailing from Finland, it’s no surprise that we’re giving over a corner of Roadburn to the amazing artists hailing from this beautiful country.

We recently announced HEXVESSEL to the Roadburn 2016 bill, but we’re now excited to announce a second show. They will be joined on Friday 15 April on stage at Roadburn by the archaic elementals of Arktau Eos for a one-off performance of a rite featuring music and themes from Hexvessel’s debut album Dawnbearer, and Arktau Eos’ debut Mirrorion (which celebrates its tenth anniversary). Arktau Eos will also perform their own set on Thursday 14 April.

To find out more about HEXVESSEL & ARKTAU EOS, click HERE.

The other Finnish bands taking over Roadburn 2016 are:
Dark, droning psych-lords DARK BUDDHA RISING on Friday 15 April.
Experimental black metal innovators ORANSSI PAZUZU on Thursday 14 April.
Psych drone purveyors feat. members of Dark Buddha Rising and Oranssi Pazuzu – ATOMIKYLÄ will perform at Roadburn on Saturday 16 April.
Again featuring members of Dark Buddha Rising and Oranssi Pazuzu, ABYSSION are a coarse mix of punk, black metal and even post punk, they play on Thursday 14 April.
Specialising in dramatically drawn out cosmic doom – MPH play on Sunday 17 April.

To find out more about the Finnish takeover click HERE

FURTHER ADDITIONS TO THE BILL
In addition to the above bands we have also confirmed:
Cinematic Italian doomers, ABYSMAL GRIEF – click HERE for more information
Fellow Italian’s EPITAPH – click HERE for more information.
Folk-tinged droners CRUMBLING GHOST – click HERE for more information.
Cosmic neo-krautrockers ZONE SIX – click HERE for more information.
Psychedelic Swedes HILLS – click HERE for more information.
Progressive black metallers TERZIJ DE HORDE – click HERE for more information.
Seven piece Texan metal horde – DEAD TO A DYING WORLD – click HERE for more information.

FURTHER TICKETING INFORMATION
Tickets to Roadburn Festival 2016 will go on sale October 2 2015. Ticket sales will start at 21:00 CET (20:00 GMT | 22:00 Finland, Greece | 3pm East Coast USA | 12pm West Coast USA). Three-day tickets will be available for 165 Euros (excl. service fees); four-day tickets will cost 185 Euros (excl. service fees). Sunday-only tickets will cost 39 Euros (excl. service fees). Camping tickets are also available through Ticketmaster.

Additional information for people who wish to buy their tickets in person: Sounds in Tilburg will be open for you to purchase tickets in person from 18.30 – 20.30, and showing your Roadburn ticket at the door will get you entry to two Roadburn-approved gigs in the city that evening.

Click HERE for all the details.

Roadburn Festival takes place at the recently upgraded, state of the art 013 venue, Tilburg, The Netherlands, between 14 – 17 April 2016. The line up this year includes Neurosis (30th anniversary), Paradise Lost (performing Gothic in full), curation by Lee Dorrian, Amenra, The Skull, La Muerte, Of The Wand And The Moon, and Green Carnation.

http://www.roadburn.com/
https://www.facebook.com/roadburnfestival
https://twitter.com/roadburnfest

Atomikylä, “Musta Kulta”

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Last Licks 2014: Seven that Spells, Elliott’s Keep, The Lone Crows, Krautzone, L’Ira del Baccano, Lae, Atomikylä, Deaf Proof, Jastreb and Arctic Sleep

Posted in Reviews on January 1st, 2015 by JJ Koczan

I thought last night about changing the name of this feature to “First Licks 2015,” but on further reflection, that’s just too much licking. It’s bad enough as it is. All the same, Happy New Year to you and yours, wherever you and they may be. I hope in 2015, your reviews pile never gets so backed up that you think about doing something so absolutely insane as tackling them all at once to wipe the slate clean. Then again, being completely inundated with music has its upsides. The music, for one.

We press on today with the fourth installment in the “Last Licks 2014” series. These are reviews 31-40. I passed the halfway point yesterday with barely so much as an inward breath to appreciate the moment, and I can only hope the pile of discs before me goes so smoothly. I’ll let you know when I get there. Until then, no need to dally, let’s get underway with the first reviews of 2015.

Thanks for reading:

Seven that Spells, The Death and Resurrection of Krautrock: Io

seven that spells the death and resurrection of krautrock io

Reportedly second in a series of three albums from Croatian heavy psych rockers Seven that Spells, The Death and Resurrection of Krautrock: Io follows a first installment subtitled Aum released in 2011 and brings forth heady, mostly instrumental progressions of extended runtimes and a satisfying blend of weighted tones and stylistic clarity. The three-piece who released their first album in 2003 alternate between three shorter pieces and two longer ones across the 47-minute Sulatron Records outing’s five tracks, and while I’m not entirely sure what is the narrative that’s taking place across them, there’s definitely a plotted course and concept at work behind the material – it does not come across as haphazard in any way. When they arrive, vocals do so as chants coinciding with sweeping passages, as on “Burning Blood,” the culmination of which is worthy of being the apex of a trilogy in progress. Io takes the off-the-cuff authenticity in heavy psych and gives it direction and purpose beyond simply being. No small feat, no small results.

Seven that Spells on Thee Facebooks

Sulatron Records

Elliott’s Keep, Nascentes Morimur

elliott's keep nascentes morimur

Some metal isn’t doom, some doom isn’t metal, but Texas trio Elliott’s Keep play doom metal, and make no mistake. Their third long-player, Nascentes Morimur, comes after 2008’s In Medias Res (review here) and 2010’s Sine Qua Non (review here), and like them, it was produced and mixed by J.T. Longoria, so that their darkened, metallic chugging is presented with a crisp bite. The three-piece of Kenneth Greene (bass/vocals), Jonathan Bates (guitar) and Joel Bates (drums) toy with the balance between death and doom effectively across Nascentes Morimur’s nine tracks, making highlights of early moments like the double-kick-laden “Now Taken” and the chorus of the proceeding “Days of Hell.” Later cuts like “Tale of Grief” and “Omen” follow suit, with Jonathan riffing out classic metal vibes while Greene switches between clean singing and a rasping, almost black metal in places, scream. Their command never wavers, though, and while there have never been many frills about their approach, Elliott’s Keep have come to offer a fist-pumpingly heavy, sharp-edged push.

Elliott’s Keep on Thee Facebooks

Elliott’s Keep on Bandcamp

The Lone Crows, Dark Clouds

the lone crows dark clouds

Bluesy Minneapolis double-guitar four-piece The Lone Crows show an affinity for classic rock stylization on their World in Sound second full-length, Dark Clouds. Produced modern, with lead guitar front and center, there’s more rock to Dark Clouds than heavy rock, but the vocal style of guitarist Tim Barbeau – joined in the band by guitarist Julian Manzara, bassist Andy Battcher and drummer Joe Goff – has some ‘90s inflection to it, and every now and then they get into a bit of bounce, as on the title-track and “The Dragon.” The penultimate “Midnight Show” would seem like the peak of the album, and sure enough it has one of its best hooks, but the recording doesn’t allow for the same push one imagines the material would carry live, and the quiet ending of “On that Day” feels flat compared to some of The Lone Crows’ bluesy peers. I chalk it up to the difference between blues rock and heavy rock and my own expectations, rather than some fault in the band.

The Lone Crows on Thee Facebooks

World in Sound

Krautzone, Kosmiche Rituale

krautzone kosmiche rituale

I’m not sure if it would be appropriate to call Krautzone an offshoot of Zone Six, of which all four members – guitarist Rainer Neeff, synth-providers Modulfix and Sula Bassana, and percussionist Komet Lulu (the latter two also of Electric Moon) – take part, plus bassist Onkel Kaktus, but either way, the sound is nebulous, brilliantly textured for a meditative, slow-motion churn, and utterly engrossing. Their Sulatron debut, Kosmiche Rituale, is comprised of three lengthy explorations, tones washing in and out of each, smoothly offset by Neeff’s flight-taken guitar, minimal but earthy percussion and an improvised sensibility. “Liebe” (12:46) and “Kosmiche Rituale” (9:09) comprise side A and “Only Fools Rush In” (20:41) consumes side B entirely, a wash of synth and cymbals announcing its arrival as it sets about unfolding its long course, every bit living up to the album’s title in the process. Krautzone also released a split with Lamp of the Universe in 2014 (review here), but on their own, they shine with the chance to really stretch out.

Krautzone on Thee Facebooks

Sulatron Records

L’Ira del Baccano, Terra 42

l'ira del baccano terra 42

Italian instrumentalists L’Ira del Baccano make their full-length debut with the lushly conceived Terra 42, a six-track, 57-minute outing that works in three overarching “phases.” The first of them includes tracks one through three and is dubbed “The Infinite Improbability Drive,” and it makes up more than half the album’s runtime, the first, 13-minute part standing alone while the two subsequent nine-minute stretches feed one directly into the next in a psychedelic wash of open guitar building to a raucous heavy rock finish. Phase II, “Sussurri… Nel Bosco di Diana” is the next two cuts, and moves smoothly from a Yawning Man-style jam to more riff-based thickness. The longest individual part, Phase III, is the 14-minute “Volcano X13,” track six, on which the band move fluidly through their heavy psych and rock impulses, synth and guitar intertwining well as L’Ira del Baccano affirm their more-than-burgeoning stylistic breadth. It’s an interesting, somewhat familiar blend, but they put it to good use on Terra 42 and engage with the spaciousness created.

L’Ira del Baccano on Thee Facebooks

Subsound Records

Lae, Break the Clasp

lae break the clasp

Reactivated Montreal noisemakers Lae enlisted the help of their producer, Today is the Day’s Steve Austin, in handling lead vocals for their debut, Break the Clasp, which is a move fitting for their anti-genre approach to noise, drone, doom, post-everything, and so on. A Battleground Records/The Compound release, Break the Clasp reworks unheard material from Lae’s original run in the mid-‘90s – an album that never came out, essentially – but the vitality in the 13 tracks (yes, even the crushingly slow ones) is fresh to the point of its newness, and even the parts meant to be abrasive, opener “Sexy Sadie” or pieces of “17 Queen,” for example, hold onto a wonderful depth the mix and a feeling of texture that feeds Break the Clasp’s otherworldly spirit and brings you along its path of consuming strangeness. Austin is a presence, but by no means the star, and the whole band Lae shines across Break the Clasp’s fascinating span. A debut no one knew they were awaiting, but they were.

Lae on Thee Facebooks

Earsplit Distro

Atomikylä, Erkale

atomikyla erkale

Psychedelia implying such a colorful sound, and black metal implying essentially the absence of that color, the two have rarely been paired well, but Finnish four-piece Atomikylä display a resounding space on their five-song debut full-length, Erkale (released by Future Lunch), and they’re not through the 13-minute opener, “Aluaineet,” before I think they might have mastered the balance between effects wash, unmitigated thrust and far-back screaming that most others have left too far to one side or the other. The four-piece with a lineup half from Oranssi Pazuzu and half from Dark Buddha Rising don’t stay in one place stylistically – the title-track has an almost krautrock feel, while the subsequent “Ihmiskallo” is more resolved to doom – but they keep a consistency of blinding bleakness to Erkale that results in a decidedly individualized feel throughout the 48 minutes. Droning and jazzy guitar experimentalism prevails in “Who Goes There,” and 10-minute closer “Musta Kulta” both broadens the atmosphere and underscores Atomikylä’s vicious stylistic triumph, capping Erkale with a mash of squibblies and screams, effects and distortion that’s so filthy it can’t help but be beautiful.

Atomikylä on Thee Facebooks

Future Lunch

Deaf Proof, Death Sounds Angry

deaf proof death sounds angry

Freiburg, Germany, trio Deaf Proof – guitarist/vocalist J. Fredo, bassist JP and drummer Pedro – released their first demo in 2013, but the three-song/34-minute EP (it’s more like an album, but I won’t argue) Death Sounds Angry is a decidedly more assured, professional affair. The vibe is loose and, in the reaches of 18-minute middle cut “Origin of Pain,” jammy, but the three-piece still seem to have some idea of where they want their material to go, even as they feel their way toward those ends. A Colour Haze influence? Maybe, but less than one might think given the current climate of European heavy psych. JP’s bass has a tendency toward darker undertones, and when they hit the payoffs for “Death Sounds Angry and Hungry for More,” “Origin of Pain” and “The Sense,” they reveal themselves to be in search of something heavier and less peaceful. J. Fredo’s vocals are a little forward in the mix, but Death Sounds Angry still offers plenty to chew on for the converted.

Deaf Proof on Thee Facebooks

Deaf Proof on Bandcamp

Jastreb, Mother Europe

jastreb mother europe

Progressive, mostly instrumental and hypnotic, Zagreb, Croatia, trio Jastreb released their self-titled debut as a single 36-minute song in 2012, and the follow-up, Mother Europe (on HauRucK), is no less ambitious. Vocals appear here and there, both from the core three-piece and a guest spot, but the heart of what Jastreb do is rooted in their ability to craft movements that pull listeners in without falling into lulls of unconsciousness – to wit, the repetitions of “The Black Mountain” seem still but are constantly building and moving forward – as well as in arrangement flourishes like synth, Hammond, sitar and violin among the shades of post-metal in “Haemmer” or the bleary, drone-backed opener “North,” which comes companioned by the subtle churn of “South” to end the album. Not necessarily psychedelic in a loose or jammy sense, but immersive, and purposeful in its variety; the sitar and guest vocals on “The Silver Spire” arrive just at the moment when one thinks they might have heard it all. Could say the same of the record itself, I suppose.

Jastreb on Thee Facebooks

Jastreb’s BigCartel store

HauRucK

Arctic Sleep, Passage of Gaia

arctic sleep passage of gaia

Passage of Gaia is the sixth album from progressive melo-doomers Arctic Sleep. A four-piece from Milwaukee including bassist/drummer/cellist/vocalist Keith D, guitarist Mike Gussis and vocalist Emily Jancetic (John Gleisner plays drums live), one is reminded both of the Floydian consciousness of mid-period Anathema (my go-to comparison point for this kind of stuff, admittedly) and the drama in Katatonia and some of Novembers Doom’s clean sections, but ultimately, Arctic Sleep emerge from the eight-track/54-minute DIY long-player with their own personality, measured out in the careful vocal collaboration between Keith D and Jancetic, songs like “Terra Vindicta,” “Green Dragon” and “Passage of Gaia,” and the varied structures between the more rocking “Terra Vindicta” and the build of “Solar Lament.” Through it all, nothing’s out of balance, and Arctic Sleep execute Passage of Gaia with the poise demanded by the style and the fact that it’s their sixth album, accomplishment suiting them as well as the melancholy of closer “Destroy the Urn,” which almost loses its restraint at the end. Almost.

Arctic Sleep on Thee Facebooks

Arctic Sleep at CDBaby

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audiObelisk Transmission 041

Posted in Podcasts on October 17th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

Click Here to Download

 

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

I didn’t realize, but it’s been over a year now since I started putting together podcasts regularly again. Almost 14 months, actually. Goes quick. I’m still having a good time doing them though. It’s become kind of a late-night ritual for me, assembling the audio and putting the tracklisting together and uploading everything the night before it goes live. It’s heading toward one in the morning as I type this. Long since asleep, The Patient Mrs. calls it “JJ time.” Fair enough.

A few twists and turns in this one, so watch out. I was all getting on some rocking vibes with Brant Bjork and that He Whose Ox is Gored, but after The Golden Grass things took a pretty wild turn. You may not have heard Atomikylä yet, but it’s players from Dark Buddha Rising and Oranssi Pazuzu, so it gets pretty bleak pretty quick. From there, it’s just further into doom with MossApostle of Solitude and The Sabbathian before Godflesh — as only they can — provide a slap back to reality. The second hour, as habit dictates, is a full-on freakout. That Olson/Shively/Barry track is members of Across Tundras and the album was just released, so if you get the chance to check it out, I’d say go for it. In the meantime, enjoy:

First Hour:
Brant Bjork and the Low Desert Punk, “Stokely up Now” from Black Power Flower (2014)
He Whose Ox is Gored, “Buried Twice” from Rumors 7” (2014)
Weed is Weed, “Eat Cookies” from Blunt Force Trauma (2014)
The Golden Grass, “The Robin Song” from Realisations (2014)
Atomikylä, “Ihmiskallo” from Erkale (2014)
Moss, “Carmilla (Marcilla)” from Carmilla (2014)
Apostle of Solitude, “Luna” from Of Woe and Wounds (2014)
The Sabbathian, “Nightshade Eternal” from Ritual Rites (2014)
Godflesh, “Life Giver Life Taker” from A World Lit Only by Fire (2014)
Lords of Beacon House, “Cool Water Blues” from Lords of Beacon House (2014)

Second Hour:
Geezer, “Tales of Murder and Unkindness” from Gage (2014)
Olson/Shively/Barry, “Jagged Cliffs” from Tierra del Fuego Blues (2014)
Dead Sea Apes, “Threads” from High Evolutionary (2014)
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, “Psychopomp” from Psychopomp (2014)

Total running time: 1:59:36

 

Thank you for listening.

Download audiObelisk Transmission 041

 

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