Black Capricorn Release Equinox EP

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

black capricorn

I usually give bands immediate points for opening a release with the longest song. It’s a continually brave decision, and in my mind, worth highlighting when it happens. Okay, so Black Capricorn‘s new digital outing, Equinox, is an EP. So figure maybe half points. But the song’s also acoustic — an unplugged leadoff on an otherwise-plugged release. That’s gotta be points right there. Plus it’s called “Doom for the Red Sun,” so cleverness points on top of those for the reference. I haven’t done a full tally of the numbers involved, but all told, I think it probably works out to you should take a couple minutes and check out the release, which as fate would have it is streaming at the bottom of this post courtesy of the Sardinian trio’s Bandcamp page.

Equinox follows 2015’s Ira Dei EP (discussed here) and this year’s LP, Cult of Black Friars (review here), and in addition to its doomly red sun blues has tracks that date back even before the band got their start and an uncut version of “The Hound of Harbinger God,” which previously appeared on a single.

The art and info:

black-capricorn-equinox-ep

Black Capricorn – Equinox EP

This new EP is part of a concept continuing for a second and final chapter later next year.

Equinox is inspired by spring season and the end of the summer time. Consist of an acoustic with an unlikely title song (track 1), an old song written during Cult of Black Friars session (track 2), a very old song written in the mid of the 90s by Fabrizio for his formerly band Wild Duck (track 3) and the uncensored (by the length of the 7″ release) and remastered song (track 4).

tracklist:
1. Doom for the red sun
2. La sella del Diavolo
3. Astroflower
4. The hound of harbinger god (uncutted and remastered)

Recorded 3 days of november at the doomy cottage (Hill de los muertos, Sardinia). Mastered in 666 minutes by the man behind the button: mr. Toro.

https://blackcapricorn.bandcamp.com/album/equinox-ep

http://facebook.com/blackcapricorn666
https://blackcapricorn.bandcamp.com

Black Capricorn, Equinox (2018)

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Quarterly Review: Eagle Twin, Wight, Sundrifter, Holy Mushroom, Iron and Stone, Black Capricorn, Owl Maker, Troll, Malditos, The Freak Folk of Mangrovia

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

Quarterly-Review-Spring-2018

I’m pretty sure this Quarterly Review — life eater that it is — is going to wind up being six days long. That means next Monday look for sixth installment, another batch of 10 records, which were not hard to come by among everything that’s come in lately for review. I do my best to keep up, often to little avail — some random act’s Bandcamp page starts trending and all of a sudden they’re the best band ever, which hey, they’re probably not and that’s okay too. Anyhowzer, I’m trying is the point. Hopefully another 10 records added into this Quarterly Review underscores that notion.

More coffee. More albums. Let’s rock.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Eagle Twin, The Thundering Heard (Songs of Hoof and Horn)

eagle twin the thundering heard songs of hoof and horn

Consuming tones, throat-sung blues, a wash of lumbering doom – yes, it’s quite a first three minutes on Eagle Twin’s The Thundering Heard (Songs of Hoof and Horn). Released by Southern Lord, it’s the Salt Lake City duo’s first outing since 2012’s The Feather Tipped the Serpent’s Scale (discussed here), which arrived three years after their 2009 debut, The Unkindness of Crows (review here). Once again, the four-song outing finds guitarist/vocalist Gentry Densley and drummer Tyler Smith exploring the natural order and the natural world the 11-minute “Quanah un Rama” and the 14-minute “Antlers of Lightning” bookend “Elk Wolfv Hymn” (8:22) and album highlight “Heavy Hood” (7:21), creating an ever-more immersive and grit-laden flow across the album’s span. It’s hard to know if Densley and Smith are the hunters or the hunted here, but the tones are massive enough to make YOB blush, the rhythms are hypnotic and the use they’re both put to is still unlike anything else out there, ending after the chaos and assault of low end on “Antlers of Lightning” with a moment of contemplative guitar lead, as if to remind us of our solitary place in imagining ourselves at the top of the food chain.

Eagle Twin on Thee Facebooks

Southern Lord Recordings website

 

Wight, Fusion Rock Invasion

wight fusion rock invasion

One wonders what it might’ve been like to see Wight on the 2015 tour on which the Bilocation Records-issued vinyl-only Fusion Rock Invasion: Live Over Europe was captured. Still a year out from releasing their third album, Love is Not Only What You Know (review here), the former trio had already become a four-piece with guitarist/vocalist/keyboardist René Hofmann, bassist Peter-Philipp Schierhorn and drummer Thomas Kurek bringing in percussionist Steffen Kirchpfening and already undertaken the funkier aesthetic turn that LP would represent coming off of 2012’s Through the Woods into Deep Water (review here). At least I’d think it would be something of a surprise as the band hit into “Helicopter Mama” and “The Muse & the Mule” and “Kelele,” which comprise side A of Fusion Rock Invasion, but by all appearances listening to the crowd response between songs, they seem into it. Who could argue? Wight’s groove in those songs as well as the older “Master of Nuggets” and Love is Not Only What You Know finale “The Love for Life Leads to Reincarnation” on side B, are infectious in their grooves and the soul put into them is genuine and unmistakable. One more reason I wouldn’t have minded being there, I suppose.

Wight on Thee Facebooks

Wight at Bilocation Records

 

Sundrifer, Visitations

sundrifter visitations

Name your bet someone picks up Sundrifter’s Visitations for a proper release. The Boston three-piece of vocalist/guitarist Craig Peura, bassist Paul Gaughran and drummer Patrick Queenan impress in performance, aesthetic and craft across the nine songs and 48 minute of their for-now-self-released debut long-player, and whether it’s Queenan dipping into blastbeats on “Targeted” or Gaughran’s rumble on the Soundgarden-gone-doom “Fire in the Sky” or the fuzz that leads the charge on the Queens of the Stone Age-style “Hammerburn,” Peura doing a decent Josh Homme along the way, each member proves to add something to a whole greater than the sum of its parts and that is able to take familiar elements and use them to hone an individualized atmosphere. In the wake of melodically engaged Boston acts like Gozu, Sundrifter would seem to be a focused newcomer with a solidified mindset of who they are as a group. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised either if they kept growing their sound. Something about the psychedelic distance in “Fire in the Sky” and “I Want to Leave,” says there’s forward movement yet to be had.

Sundrifter on Thee Facebooks

Sundrifter on Bandcamp

 

Holy Mushroom, Moon

holy mushroom moon

Serenity and presence. There’s no shortage of either on the second Holy Mushroom full-length, Moon. Incorporating the prior-issued digital single “Éufrates,” the five-track/43-minute excursion is rife with natural-toned psychedelic resonance, marked out by organ/piano working alongside the guitar (see “Birdwax Blues”), as well as guest contributions of double bass and saxophone, and other sundry moments of depth-creating flourish. Their trance-effect is palpable, and Moon is an easy album to get lost in, especially as the Spanish three-piece make their way through 12:35 centerpiece “The Preacher,” moving from a dreamy opening line of guitar into funk-laden heft that only pushes forward with Hendrixian abandon through a massive jam before rounding out sweetly with vocals over background organ and sweetly-strummed guitar. “Éufrates” would seem to start the same way, but varies the structure in more of a back and forth format before closer “Grand Finale in the Blind Desert” brings both Holy Mushroom’s most patient execution and their most vibrant jam (sax included), essentially building from the one into the other to end the album in energetic fashion. To say it works for them would be underselling it.

Holy Mushroom on Thee Facebooks

Holy Mushroom on Bandcamp

 

Iron and Stone, Petrichor

iron and stone petrichor

A debut long-player of no-pretense, no-nonsense sludge-infused doom, Petrichor (on Backbite Records) shows German five-piece Iron and Stone as ready to follow where the riff will lead them. The late 2017 album is a solidly-delivered 10 tracks and 43 minutes that strikes mostly in monochrome intent, save perhaps for the acoustic “Interlude” near the midpoint. Their 2015 EP, Old Man’s Doom (review here), was similarly upfront in its purposes, but carrying across a full-length – especially a debut – is a different beast from a shorter outing. Their heavier push on “Monolith” is welcome and the break-then-chug of “Deserts” does plenty to satisfy, but Petrichor might require a couple concerted listens to really sink in on its audience, though as I’ve said time and again, if you can’t handle repetition, you can’t handle doom. Iron and Stone effectively balance traditional doom and rawer sludge groove, playing fluidly to whichever suits their purposes at a given moment.

Iron and Stone on Thee Facebooks

Backbite Records webstore

 

Black Capricorn, Omega

black capricorn omega

Sardinian doom cult Black Capricorn push well beyond the limits of the manageable with their 95-minute fourth album, Omega (released Nov. 2017 on Stone Stallion Rex), and that’s clearly the idea. The three-piece of bassist Virginia, drummer Rakela and guitarist/vocalist Kjxu offer grim ambience and tempos that sound slow regardless of their actual speed. That said, the 17-minute “Antartide” is an accomplishment as regards crawl. After a sweetly melancholic opening of guitar, it lurches and lumbers out its miserable heft until a return to that intro bookends. Even shorter tracks like “Flower of Revelation” or “Stars of Orion” hold firm to the tenet of plod, and though the results are obviously a lot to take in, the idea that it should be a slog seems all the more appropriate to Black Capricorn’s style. The band, which hits the decade mark in 2018, churn out one last bit of wretchedness in the nine-minute closing title-track before giving way to an acoustic finish, as if to remind that Omega’s sorrows are conveyed as much through atmosphere as actual sonic heft.

Black Capricorn on Thee Facebooks

Stone Stallion Rex website

 

Owl Maker, Paths of the Slain

owl maker paths of the slain

Guitarist/vocalist Simon Tuozzoli, also of malevolent doomers Vestal Claret, leads the new trio Owl Maker, and in the company of bassist Jessie May and drummer Chris Anderson, he embarks on a heavy rock push of six tracks with the debut EP, Paths of the Slain, still holding to some elements of metal, whether it’s the double-kick in opener “Ride with Aileen” or the backing vocals and guitar solo of the subsequent “99.” Songwriting is clearheaded across the EP’s 23 minutes, and in terms of first impressions, “Mashiara” shows a focus on melody that retains a metallic poise without losing its riff-driven edge. The balance shifts throughout “Freya’s Chariot” and the all-go “Witches,” the latter of which touches on black metal in its first half before turning on a dime to mid-paced heavy rock, and closer “Lady Stoneheart” nods in its back end to NWOBHM gallop, as Owl Maker seem to tip their audience to the fact that they’re just getting started on their exploration of the many interpretations of heavy.

Owl Maker on Thee Facebooks

Owl Maker on Bandcamp

 

Troll, Troll

troll troll

When one considers the multiple connotations of the word, Portland’s Troll are definitely going more for “lives under a bridge” than “meddling in elections” when it comes to their sound. Their self-titled debut EP, issued in 2017 before being picked up by respected purveyor Shadow Kingdom Records for a 2018 CD/tape release, is a highlight offering of classic-style doom worthy of Orodruin and Pilgrim comparisons and headlined by the vocal performance of John, who carries songs like opener “The Summoning” and the later, more swinging “Infinite Death” in a manner impressive in both frontman presence and melodic range. His work is only bolstered by the riffs of guitarist Lou and the consistent groove held together by bassist Wayne and drummer Ryan, whose drive in centerpiece “An Eternal Haunting” is neither overdone nor incongruous with the wall its tempo hits, and who meld shuffle and plod on closer “Savage Thunder” with naturalist ease. Potential abounds, and they reportedly already have new material in the works, so all the better.

Troll on Thee Facebooks

Shadow Kingdom Records website

 

Malditos, II

malditos ii
Some bands, you just have to accept the fact that they’re on a different wavelength and that’s all there is to it. Magma. Master Musicians of Bukkake. Circle. Enter Oakland, California’s Malditos, whose sophomore outing, II: La Réve, arrives via Svart Records. From bizarre psychedelic chants to ritualized repetitions that seems to be daring you to play them backwards on your turntable, the spiritual freakout to songs like “Azadeh” and the penultimate “Momen” is palpable. Reach out and touch it and it will ripple like water in front of you. A sense of space is filled with elements alternatingly horrifying and engrossing, and after they make their way through “Le Passage” and centerpiece “Disparu” and wind up in the title-track to close out, the journey to the final wash of noise gives the distinct impression that for neither the listener nor the band is there any coming back. High order head trippery. Will simply be too much for some, will gloriously expand the minds of others.

Malditos on Thee Facebooks

Svart Records webstore

 

The Freak Folk of Mangrovia, Sonic Meditations: Live @ Palach

the freak folk of mangrovia sonic meditations live at palach

I don’t know how much improvisation is a factor in the sound of The Freak Folk of Mangrovia, but the Croation collective bring an ultra-organic presence to their perhaps-debut release, Sonic Meditations: Live @ Palach. The group, which seems also to have gone under the names Marko Mushan & the Mangrovian Orchestra and The Free Folk of Mangrovia, was opening for Acid Mothers Temple that night, and Sonic Meditations mostly breaks down into parts – “Sonic Meditation I,” “II,” “III” and “IV” – before the band closes out with “’Mangrovian Summer,” all the while with The Freak Folk of Mangrovia making their way through progressive dreamscapes, dripping with effects and spacious enough to house an entire Mangrovian village, however big that might be. It is otherworldly and jazzy and moves with such fluidity that the entire “Sonic Meditation” becomes one overarching piece, complemented by the closing “Mangrovian Summer,” which ebbs and flows through louder, more active jamming before capping in a wash of noise.

The Freak Folk of Mangrovia on Thee Facebooks

The Freak Folk of Mangrovia on Bandcamp

 

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Black Capricorn Release Ira Dei EP for One Week Only

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 3rd, 2015 by JJ Koczan

black capricorn

If you’re thinking maybe a new EP from Italian doomsters Black Capricorn might be your cup of tea, chalice of vino, glass of sambuca, whatever it might be, then you’re probably going to want to jump on Ira Dei while the jumpin’s good. The trio (live four-piece) will have the three tracks of Ira Dei posted for one week — from yesterday — and then that’s it. Word from the band is that “Evil Horde of Lucifer,” “Zeernebooch” and “The Mammoth March to Alnitak” might be used again at some point for a physically-pressed split or as part of a full-length album, but as far as this EP in this form goes, it’s out for a couple days and then gone. One and done.

Ira Dei is one of two releases Black Capricorn have had out this year, the other being a limited split single with Bretus. Their third full-length, Cult of Black Friars, came out last year on Stone Stallion Rex, and continued their roll-groove take on the traditions of doom, and the new tracks, from the chant-style layered vocals of “Evil Horde of Lucifer” to the feedback swells in “Zeernebooch,” furthers their intricate but thoroughly doomed approach another step.

The idea is to fund their next European run, so if it helps to think of it as a Kickstarter or whatever crowdfunding deal we’re namechecking these days, then fine. Release info and links follow, so have at it:

black capricorn ira dei

IRA DEI ep is available from today and for ONLY 1 week on digital download ONLY!!!

tracklist:
1. Evil Horde of Lucifer
2. Zeernebooch
3. The Mammoth March to Alnitak

We do this record in order to collect some money for the next year european tour.

After one week this link will be deleted, we wish to use these songs for further release (split, ep) on physical format.

It would be very helpful for our band if you want to share this link: https://blackcapricorn.bandcamp.com/releases

Thank you all!

https://www.facebook.com/BlackCapricorn666
http://blackcapricorn.bigcartel.com/
https://blackcapricorn.bandcamp.com/releases

Black Capricorn, Ira Dei EP (2015)

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Black Capricorn Cover Black Sabbath’s “Solitude,” Post for Free Download

Posted in Bootleg Theater on September 2nd, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Of all the Sabbath songs to take on — and there are so many covers out there, live and studio-recorded — “Solitude” can’t be an easy one. The soft, psychedelic penultimate cut from 1971’s Master of Reality was that album’s answer to “Planet Caravan” sonically, but came from a much more emotional place in terms of its lyrics, lonelier as its title would indicate and the record’s most brooding moment, adding depth to the anger rooted in tracks like “Lord of this World” and “Children of the Grave.” Black Capricorn, who announced a hiatus earlier this summer after releasing their second album, Born under the Capricorn, in March, today posted a studio take on “Solitude” that both echoes their own rich tonality and the original version’s resonant forlornness.

Whether Black Capricorn are off their hiatus or not, they’ve made “Solitude” available as a free download, and as you can see below, Sacred Sword‘s Alessandra Cornacchia guests on flute. I’m a sucker for this song anyway, but they legitimately do it justice and it’s worth checking out, particularly with the video of classic-looking shots of countryside and coast. Hope you dig it:

Black Capricorn, “Solitude” (Black Sabbath cover)

This summer we had some recording session among some brand new songs we have also recorded our version of Solitude by Black Sabbath. This is the very first time we had female vocals and also we’ve guested miss Alessandra Cornacchia (from the band Sacred Sword) playing the flute on it.

Here is the link for a free download of the mp3 track: http://www.mediafire.com/?ucmo6tch5jw4gtl

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Black Capricorn, Black Capricorn: La Chiamata Della Capra

Posted in Reviews on January 10th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

When it comes to 12th Records, it’s a safe bet that whatever else you’re going to get, the disc is going to have massive tone. The label is the imprint of Electric Amplifiers, which, unsurprisingly, the bands it puts out are using. 12th Records doesn’t issue discs often, but the label has been home to debuts and landmark albums from High on Fire, YOB, Ocean Chief and Starchild, among others, so when they get behind something, it’s worth paying attention. In the case of the Sardinian outfit Black Capricorn, that’s no less true than it’s ever been. Their 2011 self-titled debut keeps with the label’s tradition of engulfing fuzz – rhythm guitarist/vocalist Fabrizio “Kjxu” Monni’s riffs are given front-and-center attention in the band’s sound, and rightly so. On some levels, Black Capricorn is preaching to the converted here, but if it’s going to be stoner rock for stoner rock’s sake, I’m not going to hold it against the groove of “Il Tamburo del Demonio,” which seems to split the band’s attention between worship of the cosmos and worship of the capital-g Goat. Whatever they’re doing thematically, though, it’s the lurching tonal thickness and warmth that’s going to lure you in and keep you for the record’s 46-minute duration, and Black Capricorn – who’ve since added Il Baro on vocals/synth and a full-time lead guitarist in Andrea “Lord Fex” Cadeddu – make the most of it here.

Black Capricorn’s Black Capricorn was recorded in 2009, and Lord Fex does appear on guitar alongside Kxju on the closing duo of “The Maelmhaedhoc O’Morgair Prophecy” and “Liquid Universe,” but he’s credited as a guest musician, as is Claudio Monni (relation to Kxju assumed), who plays on the rest of the songs. The actual lineup is listed as Kxju, bassist Virginia and drummer Rachela, and if the distinction is that the trio recorded live and the other parts were added later, not knowing whether that’s the case or not, I’d believe it, given the natural flow of the material on the album. It is unpretentious in its awareness of genre and style to the point that the sample use on “Capricorn One” – taking its name from the 1978 sci-fi thriller – is more charming than redundant, and that from the opening riff that begins “Sa Bruxia,” Black Capricorn seem less concerned with innovation than exploration of nuance. That is to say, their debut doesn’t do much to reinvent the style of psychedelic stoner rock, but it develops a personality within it and makes the aesthetic conventions work to its advantage, at least for the most part. “Sa Bruxia” features the first of many excellent nod-ready grooves to come, and the integration of Claudio Monni’s lead work is fluid, sounding not at all out of place with the lumbering riffs surrounding.

For the most part, Kxju keeps his vocals to far-back echoes, and that works well in enhancing the album’s psychedelic feel, but on “Capricorn One,” he switches to a gruff, blown-out approach that does well to offer change from the first two tracks – “Perpetual Eclipse” being the second and keeping much the same vibe as the opener, with an added didgeridoo intro from Kxju. That switch is subtle compared to the overall effect of Black Capricorn, which is as though someone was shouting, “Follow that giant riff!” but with the more upbeat instrumental and desert-ed “Il Tamburo del Demonio” following, it has time to sink in before the album highlight “10,000 Tons of Lava” takes hold and blends the two processes. Virginia’s bass, which has warmth to match Kxju’s, should already have been noted as an element working greatly in Black Capricorn’s favor throughout the record, but on “10,000 Tons of Lava,” the contribution is undeniable. Accompanied by the strongest vocal performance here-included and rumbling low beneath a momentary break, it is the stuff of stoner rock dreams and immaculately put to tape. As Kxju’s effects swirl out into interstellar oblivion, I’m more locked in with what Virginia and Rachela are doing behind them, which probably wasn’t the original intent of the song but doesn’t weaken the impression it leaves.

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