Castle Post “Red Phantom” Video; Wrapping West Coast Tour

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 30th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

castle

Of course, if you’re going to make a video for a song called ‘Red Phantom,’ it’s going to be red. In that regard, Castle live up to blood-hued expectation, melding horror-creeper imagery, thrashy riffs and footage of the band rocking out to give a primal showcase of what their new album and Ripple debut, Deal Thy Fate (review here), is all about. Castle are currently on the road as they so often are, finishing up a West Coast run supporting the record. More touring will naturally follow next year, along with what will no doubt be a wide smattering of festival appearances and other whathaveyou. In the meantime, the band have never been shy about engaging visual media one way or another, and “Red Phantom” finds them once again working with director Jaan Slimberg of Pistoltrixx in Toronto.

I don’t know how many ways to say it or whether I even need to at this point, but Castle continue to kick ass, and their vision of worshiping at the altar of classic metal by reinventing it to their own purposes holds a singular appeal in the heavy underground. “Red Phantom” is right on in its hook and its tone, and with the band’s well-established collaboration with producer Billy Anderson, the angularity of their rhythmic shifts isn’t lost in the depth of their sound or the darkness — in this case, dark redness — of their atmosphere. As guitarist Mat Davis explains, the track works on a theme centered around the Zodiac killer, but as they do with their sound overall, they twist that story to suit the needs of the song itself. It appears in the second half of Deal Thy Fate, and so highlighting “Red Phantom” with a video seems all the more a worthy cause to make sure it isn’t swallowed by the surrounding material on side B. The focus is more than well earned.

Seems likely this will be the last we hear from Castle before 2019 hits, though I wouldn’t necessarily put it past them to sneak in a couple December shows, but they never stay dormant for long. Still, if you can see them in California or Arizona as they wrap this tour — or whenever you can catch them — you should. It is not a decision you’ll regret.

PR wire info follows. Enjoy the video:

Castle, “Red Phantom” official video

Directed by long-time collaborator Jaan Silmberg of Pistoltrixx – who also worked with the band on previous videos, Blacklands and Hammer and the Cross, Red Phantom was recently shot in Toronto, Ontario between tours of Canada and Europe.

Elaborates guitarist Mat Davis,”The lyrics for Red Phantom are based on Zodiac as seen through the lens of his adopted persona from Poe’s Masque Of The Red Death. For the video we projected visuals from the 1907 film version ‘Le Spectre Rouge’ in reference to one of the main Zodiac suspects, Rick Marshall – who was a film projectionist in the Bay Area and had an obsession with the movie.”

Recorded by Billy Anderson (Sleep, Neurosis) at Hallowed Halls in Portland, Oregon this past spring Deal Thy Fate is currently available at https://heavycastle.bandcamp.com/ and http://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com.

CASTLE is currently on a U.S. West Coast tour. The trek, which kicked off November 23 continues through to next month, wrapping up in Ventura on December 7. Expect a full US Tour to be announced early in the new year.

11/30 Sacramento, CA – Blue Lamp
12/01 San Jose, CA – Caravan
12/04 Phoenix, AZ – Yucca Tap
12/05 Los Angeles, CA – Resident
12/06 San Diego, CA – Tower Bar
12/07 Ventura, CA – The Garage

Castle, Deal Thy Fate (2018)

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Nebula Premiere “Whalefinger” from Demos & Outtakes 98-02; Preorders up Now

Posted in audiObelisk on November 29th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

nebula

Nebula will issue Demos and Outtakes 98-02 two months from today, and to mark the occasion of preorders going live through Heavy Psych Sounds, the band are premiering the previously-unreleased track “Whalefinger.” Recorded in 2002, it’s one of the later inclusions on the compilation, with “You Got It” and a faithful live cover of Black Flag‘s “Nervous Breakdown” stemming from the same era. That same year, the Californian heavy psych rockers would release their collection Dos EPs (discussed here) as their final outing with the original lineup of guitarist/vocalist Eddie Glass, bassist Mark Abshire and drummer Ruben Romano, as by the time 2003’s Atomic Ritual was released, Abshire had moved on. In familiar cuts like “Sun Creature,” “Humbucker,” “To the Center,” “Smokin’ Woman” and “Synthetic Dream,” Demos and Outtakes 98-02 isn’t necessarily as raw sounding as the name would imply, and while it’s inherently true that these most of tracks aren’t the “finished” versions, they also find the band working with producers like Jack Endino on “Humbucker” or John Agnello (Screaming Trees, many others) on the opening Leaf Hound cover “Stagnant Pool,” and with new mixes on “Smokin’ Woman” and “Sun Creature” by Matt Lynch of Snail, the band sounds vital even at their most barebones, which might be “You Got It,” though the Glass-only fuzz-blowout take on The Creation‘s “How Does it Feel to Feel” comes close.

The impact of this era of Nebula‘s work speaks for itself in the influence they continue to have on psychedelia, desert rock, and acts from any number of other intertwining heavy subgenres. Heavy Psych Sounds this year already issued Dos EPs along with Nebula Demos Outtakes 98-021998’s Let it Burn EP (discussed here) and 1999’s To the Center (discussed here) — both landmarks — and though it’s just over two minutes long, “Whalefinger” stands testament to the punk undercurrent running through the band’s sound. Stripped-down lyrics, sharp transitions and a momentum driven by Romano‘s drumming position the track structurally not so far off from “Nervous Breakdown,” though admittedly the latter is faster. And of course that matters to the overall intensity factor, but the point is that Nebula were taking various sonic perspectives from punk, garage rock, psych, stoner, whatever, and bringing them into their own approach. By 2002, they were an established touring act. They’d been across the US and abroad to Europe, and they weren’t exactly rookies when they started either, with Glass and Romano having broken off from Fu Manchu in ’97 and reunited with Abshire, who was that band’s original bassist, shortly thereafter. Still, I’m not sure I’d call Nebula “mature” by the time 2002 rolled around. Certainly they were experienced and seasoned — and toasted — but as Demos and Outtakes 98-02 shows in “Whalefinger” and “You Got It,” there was still a lot of exploring being done in terms of songcraft and aesthetic, and a kind of restlessness propelled them forward.

That works until you hit a wall, which Glass eventually did in 2010, but a revamped version of the band is pressing forward again with Glass, longtime bassist Tom Davies and drummer Mike Amster and working toward the prospect of the band’s first album since Heavy Psych (review here) in 2009. As to what Nebula might conjure after a decade out of the studio, I don’t know, but Demos and Outtakes 98-02 offers listeners a chance to revisit their original lineup in a way that stands apart from the lineage of their discography. It’s not the first “early works” compilation by any means, but given the fact that the Glass/Abshire/Romano incarnation of the band only had two LPs and a couple EPs and singles out — not nothing, but not exactly a glut of material — and given the nigh-legendary status of the trio as they were, it’s a question of taking all you can get. And from the covers to the unreleased tracks to the working versions of some of their most classic material, fans of the band should be ready to do precisely that.

More PR wire info follows “Whalefinger,” which you’ll find on the player below.

Please enjoy:

Mark Abshire on “Whalefinger”:

“Whalefinger” – not only is this song rad, but it’s the first song Eddie ever wrote. The original version was recorded and released by Olivelawn as a 7” B-side (Eddie played drums in Olivelawn).”

Set for a release on January 25th 2019, the ‘Demos & Outtakes 98-02’ will include 5 tracks that have never seen the light of day before, alongside rare demos as well as cover songs such as a special live version of Black Flag’s ‘Nervous Breakdown’! Beside these never published demos to date, the known tracks on this album are different to what NEBULA originally released on their previous records like on their pathbreaking ‘Charged’ or ‘To The Center’. Some tracks were written and recorded in these sessions, some never made it on any of them or were used for B-sides and singles. And then we get songs such as ‘Whalefinger’ which was the first song Eddie Glass ever wrote and which originally made it on a 7” B-side by Olivelawn, where Eddie played drums.

The tracklist of NEBULA’s ‘Demos & Outtakes 98-02’ will read as follows:

1. Stagnant Pool ( ’00/01 demo, Leaf Hound cover )
2. Whalefinger ( ’02 demo )
3. Humbucker ( ’99 demo )
4. Smokin’ Woman ( ’98 demo )
5. Sun Creature ( ’98 demo )
6. You Got It ( ’02 demo )
7. To The Center ( ’99 demo )
8. Synthetic Dream ( ’99 demo )
9. How Does It Feel To Feel? ( ’99 demo, The Creation cover )
10. Nervous Breakdown ( Live ’02, Black Flag cover )

Preorder: https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/shop.htm#HPS088

Nebula lineup on “Whalefinger”:
Eddie Glass: Guitar/Vocals
Ruben Romano: Drums
Mark Abshire: Bass

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Høstsabbat Presents: Om in Oslo, May 7, 2019

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 29th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

OM (Photo by Insomne)

Next May, Norwegian festival Høstsabbat will present a special Om date in Oslo at Kulturkirken Jakob. The selling point is easy: “Om in a church.” The venue, which will also play host to the 2019 incarnation of the fest later in the year — they’ve already started to announce bands, including Ufomammut as a headliner — is indeed a converted church, with high ceilings, a massive pipe organ in back, and pews along the walls. One recalls Om playing in New York in front of a rebuilt pyramid and imagines the effect of seeing them on an altar to be likewise transcendent.

In 2019, those of a critic-ly persuasion will begin to trot out their lists of the best albums of the decade. I may or may not do likewise, but I’ll say this: any list you see of the best records of the ’10s that doesn’t include Om‘s 2012 outing, Advaitic Songs (review here), is crap. I mean it. What’s still the latest full-length from the duo-turned-trio remains as powerful as it was the day it was released, and in realizing the vision to which bassist/vocalist Al Cisneros had been driving toward since the band’s debut with 2005’s Variations on a Theme, he, drummer Emil Amos and multi-instrumentalist Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe conjured a landmark that’s not only already proved influential, but more importantly has stood as a testament to the conversation between spirit and sound that’s always seemed to be at root in their work.

Word has flittered here and there about a new album recorded in pieces over however long. Maybe 2019 will be the year, or maybe not. I don’t know. Either way, whether you’ve seen Om before or you haven’t, their live manifestations are unlike anything else.

Here’s the show info:

om artwork

OM will play Kulturkirken Jakob!

It’s hard to describe the feeling when something you want so badly actual is about to happen. To have OM come play Kulturkirken JAKOB has been our biggest dream since we established contact with this fantastic venue. Hardly any band on earth can be more fitting to the otherworldly environment presented in the church.

Initially rising from the ashes of cvlt band Sleep, bassist Al Cisneros and drummer Chris Haikus, soon showed the world they had something extraordinary on display. OM was a force to be reckoned with already after their first release, Variations on a Theme in 2005. This two-piece held the flag high through Conference of the Birds (2006) and Pilgrimage (2007), before a change of lineup occurred and Emil Amos from Grails handled the drums on the 2009 masterpiece God is Good.

Their latest effort, Advaitic Songs (2012), found OM leaning even more towards mantra-doom, eastern scales and melodies, adding a Rob Lowe as a third member on synthesizer, guitar, percussion and vocals. Rumours has it a new album is soon to be unleashed.
Høstsabbat is extremely proud to be able to present these living legends, for the first time in Oslo for over a decade, bringing their unique take on alternative and heavy music, downtown Oslo in our beloved Church JAKOB.
Traveler now reach the stream. The astral flight adapter.

Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/969442869919499/

https://www.facebook.com/hostsabbat/
http://hostsabbat.no/

Om, “Cremation Ghat I & II” live at Hipnosis Festival, Mexico City, Oct. 6, 2018

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The Sixth Chamber Premiere “Entrance to the Cold Waste” Video; Single Available Now

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 28th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

the sixth chamber entrance to the cold waste video

If you find yourself wondering what’s going on with the new video from Los Angeles-based goth-tinged doom rockers The Sixth Chamber, that’s okay. Between the desert and the bellydancing and the demon sultan, there are a fair amount of references to various mythological concepts, and bellies, and yeah, it’s all pretty wild. Not the least counterintuitive is the fact that the song is called “Entrance to the Cold Waste” and the clip was filmed in Death Valley on what looks like a stinking-hot kind of afternoon. Whatever else you listen to today, it’s not gonna sound like this.

Founded by guitarist/vocalist Rahne Pistor around the turn of the century, The Sixth Chamber‘s new single features members of Crypt Sermon and Salem’s Bend, and if pulling playersthe sixth chamber cover from across the country (Crypt Sermon being based in Philadelphia) seems out there, that’s just the start of it. Their first show was in 2002 opening for Chuck Dukowski. They played Buddy Miles‘ funeral, and their last video had Ron Jeremy in it. So, even before you click play on the YouTube embed below, you need to understand that “out there” is a big part of what The Sixth Chamber do. And if you hear a hint of New York goth metal â la Type O Negative in “Entrance to the Cold Waste,” you’re probably not far off. Pistor spent time in the late ’90s in New York doing Misfits tunes alongside Bobby Steele in The Undead, so there’s about no way he would’ve escaped that band’s sphere of influence.

But “Entrance to the Cold Waste” isn’t at all so easy to pin down as just that. Rather, its theatricality comes coupled with an underlying course of classically doomed grooving and fuzzed-out tones. It’s a rare balance of stylistic elements, and the visuals to which they’re set — from the swordfight to the actual eating of a heart — tell a story that’s as entrancing as it is obscure. I’m not sure you’ll want to look away, but even if you did, you probably wouldn’t be able to do so.

“Entrace to the Cold Waste” is available as a single now, and the video was directed by Constantin Werner. It’s my pleasure to host the premiere below.

Please enjoy:

The Sixth Chamber, “Entrance to the Cold Waste” official video premiere

An entheogenic seeker and sorcerer (Rahne Pistor) stalks an irresistible will-o’-the-wisp sorceress (Mahafsoun) through the vast tortured waste far beyond the waking world toward the marvelous sunset city. En route of his dream quest he encounters the creeper from the great beyond and other grim perils. What unspeakable horrors lie at the prehistoric stone monastery in the dominion of the crude and mischievous demon sultan Azathoth (Stanton Lavey), that evil devil? Who is left to trust? Do the seeker’s true enemies lie within? Is reaching the wondrous Kadath in all its glory worth the wholesale scourging of his soul?

Directed by Constantin Werner.

STARRING:
Rahne Pistor
Mahafsoun
Stanton Lavey
Brian Bodt

Other notable facts about the production:
*It features a cameo by the grandson of Satanic Bible author and Church of Satan Founder Anton Lavey, who plays a crude heathen elder god of a guttural devil sect too awful to mention.
*It was shot in the scorching heat and otherworldly wastelands of Death Valley, CA this past summer
*The video stars the illustrious gothic metal belly dancer Mahafsoun, a well-known YouTube personality and early adopter of this dance sub-genre.
*The song includes lead guitarist Steve Jansson of Crypt Sermon and bassist Bobby Parker of Salem’s Bend

SONG CREDITS:
Rahne Pistor – Vocals, Guitar
Steve Jansson – Guitar
Bobby Parker – Bass
Jameson Cluchey – Drums
Adam Thompson – Keyboards

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Nebula Announce Charged Reissue & Demos & Outtakes 98-02 Compilation Release

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 26th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

nebula

Rumor has it that the reformed lineup of Nebula made a demo for six new songs in Slovenia and are setting to work on what will be the band’s first new album in a decade for release in 2019. And by ‘rumor,’ I mean that’s what the band said. In the meantime, Heavy Psych Sounds is continuing its exploration of the Californian heavy psych forebears’ past with a reissue of their 2001 second album, Charged, that’s been newly mastered by Matt Lynch of Snail, and the collection Demos & Outtakes 98-02 with previously unheard material that goes up for preorder this week.

Of course, Heavy Psych Sounds also reissued the band’s early work in Let it Burn (discussed here), To the Center (discussed here) and Dos EPs (discussed here), so both of the forthcoming outings are right in line with what started earlier this year. As to whether or not these will be the last Nebula archival outings, I wouldn’t know. If nothing else, there have to be some pretty killer live recordings out there. Just a thought.

When and if a new Nebula record surfaces, well, that’ll be super-duper. Sign me up. In the meantime, though, there’s plenty for longtime fans to chew on in revisiting what made them so special in the first place.

From the PR wire:

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS RECORDS to release ‘Demos & Outtakes 98-02’ by legendary NEBULA

+ reissue the ‘Charged’ album in early 2019!

Heavy Psych Sounds Records & Booking is proud to announce the release of NEBULA’s ‘Demos & Outtakes 98-02’, as well as a re-mastered version of the band’s 2001’s album ‘Charged’!

Set for a release on January 25th 2019, the ‘Demos & Outtakes 98-02’ will include 5 tracks that have never seen the light of day before, alongside rare demos as well as cover songs such as a special live version of Black Flag’s ‘Nervous Breakdown’! Beside these never published demos to date, the known tracks on this album are different to what NEBULA originally released on their previous records like on their pathbreaking ‘Charged’ or ‘To The Center’. Some tracks were written and recorded in these sessions, some never made it on any of them or were used for B-sides and singles. And then we get songs such as ‘Whalefinger’ which has been the first song Eddie Glass ever wrote and which originally made it on a 7” B-side by Olivelawn, where Eddie has been playing drums for.

The Pre-Order for this MUST-HAVE gem in every NEBULA and genre-collection will start on November 29th, in the following available album formats:

– 25 TEST PRESS
– 250 LTD TRANSPARENT RED VINYL
– 500 GREY SPLATTER (Red/Black/Blue) VINYL
– BLACK VINYL
– CD DIGIPAK
– DIGITAL DOWNLOAD

The tracklist of NEBULA’s ‘Demos & Outtakes 98-02’ will read as follows:

1. Stagnant Pool ( ’00/01 demo, Leaf Hound cover )
2. Whalefinger ( ’02 demo )
3. Humbucker ( ’99 demo )
4. Smokin’ Woman ( ’98 demo )
5. Sun Creature ( ’98 demo )
6. You Got It ( ’02 demo )
7. To The Center ( ’99 demo )
8. Synthetic Dream ( ’99 demo )
9. How Does It Feel To Feel? ( ’99 demo, The Creation cover )
10. Nervous Breakdown ( Live ’02, Black Flag cover )

Furthermore, Heavy Psych Sounds has just announced to reissue NEBULA’s legendary ‘Charged’ album, originally released back in 2001 on Sub Pop Records! This new album version has been re-mastered by SNAIL’s bassist and NEBULA’s longtime sound engineer Matt Lynch.

‘Charged’ was the second full-length album by the stoner rock legends, it’s also the last album featuring former Fu Manchu bandmate, Mark Abshire, on bass and before the original band lineup re-united in 2018. The third album track ‘Giant’ was featured in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 and will be also found as a demo bonus song on the re-mastered 2019-CD album version. ‘Charged’ is still considered as one of NEBULA’s most important and distinctive records to date. A heavy fuzz rock trip into the desert, a wheel of hot lava, and the sheer power of almighty riffs only an act like NEBULA could have ever created!

The tracklist for ‘Charged’ reads as follows:

1. Do It Now
2. Beyond
3. Giant
4. Travelin’ Man’s Blues
5. Instant Gravitation
6. This One
7. Ignition
8. Shaker
9. Goodbye Yesterday
10. All The Way
11. Giant ( Demo Bonus Track, available on CD only )
12. Cosmic Egg ( Bonus Track, available on CD only )

Coming as CD, Vinyl and Digital Download on February 8th 2019 , the pre-order for NEBULA’s ‘Charged’ will start on November 29th at Heavy Psych Sounds in the following formats:

– 25 TEST PRESS
– 250 LTD SOLID BLUE VINYL
– 500 LTD WHITE SPLATTER BLUE/CLEAR BLUE/BLACK/GREEN VINYL
– BLACK VINYL
– DIGIPAK
– DIGITAL DOWNLOAD

https://www.facebook.com/NebulaBand/
https://twitter.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUND
https://instagram.com/heavypsychsounds_records/
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com/
http://www.heavypsychsounds.com/

Nebula, “Giant” Live at SonicBlast Moledo 2018

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Friday Full-Length: Black Cobra, Bestial

Posted in Bootleg Theater on November 23rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Black Cobra, Bestial (2006)

Black Cobra are now, always were and likely will remain a live band for as long as they’re any kind of band at all. On paper, should it even work? Of all the branches of the Cavity family tree, Black Cobra might be the most unlikely, as one of that band’s guitarists, Jason Landrian, stepped into a frontman role by pairing up with Acid King bassist Rafael Martinez, who moved to drums. They were a two-piece before being a two-piece wasn’t something to comment on — that is, in their early going, they heard a lot of, “You’re so heavy… and just a duo!” — and their project from the outset with their 2004 self-titled debut EP seemed to be to bridge the gap between sludge/doom tonality and intensity born of thrash. Consider the pummeling “The Cry of Melora,” the centerpiece of 2006’s Bestial, their At a Loss Recordings-issued first full-length. From an angular introduction, it turns to outright extremity before locking in a massive, consuming nod complemented by the harsh bark that would become such a hallmark of Landrian‘s vocal approach. Largely amelodic, they took what High on Fire started doing a few years earlier and pushed it further, playing faster and harder and with more of a sense of impact to their material. And they toured the crap out of it. Especially in their early years, they were largely nomadic. Across Bestial, 2007’s righteous Feather and Stone, 2009’s Chronomega (review here), which found them picked up by Southern Lord well ahead of that label’s full dive into next-gen metalcore and working with Billy Anderson as producer, and 2011’s conceptual triumph Invernal (review here, which seemed to realize the promise of their harsh atmosphere by pairing it with a historical narrative of Arctic exploration, they always seemed to showcase something different while remaining tied to the core elements of their sound, but if and when they grew, it was due to their live work, and the stage was where Landrian and Martinez always seemed most at home.

Bestial was a launch point for that, and like Black Cobra on tour, the album takes only momentary breathers. With the exception of the two-minute intro and shorter outro of its longest cut in Black Cobra Bestialthe six-minute “Broken on the Wheel,” which goes on to emit a plod unmatched anywhere else in the component 11-tracks/36-minutes — conjuring a rumbling bomb tone not unlike that of another former Cavity guitarist, Steve Brooks (of Floor and Torche), in the process — and maybe a tense moment here or there elsewhere, Bestial is about the sharpness of its turns, the weight of its tone and the onslaught brought to bear rhythmically. Riffs hit like they should draw assault charges, from the opening “One Nine” and into “Thrown from Great Heights” and “El Equis,” there’s no letup. All told, it’s about an eight-minute salvo, but the effect it has remains overwhelming 12 years after the fact. “Beneath” dives into an opening quiet stretch like it’s tossing the listener a life preserver only to yank it away again with the lung-squeezing riff and crash that takes hold en route directly into album highlight “Omniscient,” an air-tight execution that winds its way into a slowdown as it heads toward its midsection but loses none of its ferocity in the process. By this point, Martinez and Landrian have already cast their lot in terms of style and made their violent, aggressive intentions plain to hear. Their putting together quieter introductions and slamming into all-out directed chaos is a subtle but essential component, as though they need to remind listeners that quiet exists, but Bestial has its title for a reason: the album is defined by its animalistic raging, a kind of natural brutality brought to life in “El Doce de Octubre,” the foreboding quiet and chugging largesse of “Sombra de Bestia” — which accomplishes more in its two and a half minutes than bands do in their entire careers in terms of creating an ambience while still remaining outwardly monstrous-sounding — and the return to searing thrash with closer “Kay-Dur-Twenty” that seems to call back to the beginning of the record in a way that nonetheless emphasizes how far Black Cobra have actually come from that initial beastliness.

It’s hard to think of Black Cobra as underrated, but as a studio band they might be. Since so much of their focus has always been on playing live, there’s been an almost begrudging aspect to some of their studio work — as though they didn’t want to stop touring to actually record new material — but their albums have always managed to bring some new aspect to their sound, and that was true even as 2016’s Imperium Simulacra (review here) worked itself around the theme of human interaction with technology, which, like Invernal, was a subject befitting the band’s sound, this time for its precise, inhuman attack, rather than the frozen nature of its atmosphere. They’ve slowed down in terms of touring somewhat, though still hit the road significantly to support Imperium Simulacra, and continue to reside in a place between genres with a sense of willfulness in doing so. They’ve never wanted to be exclusively a sludge band, or a thrash band, or a hardcore band or a doom band. Their sound draws from all of those and more besides, but it’s in melting down these different and sometimes opposing sides and reshaping them to their purposes that is where Black Cobra manage to land so hard. And maybe being between genres as they are has contributed to that under-valuing of their recorded work. One way or the other, they’ve never been a comfortable band, and Bestial still offers no quarter to this day. It is a refusal to compromise their approach that has gone on to become one of their signature elements, and though as noted they’ve pulled back somewhat on touring and Martinez has rejoined Acid King once again on bass, it’s the studio work that is left to document who they are and were at various points, and whatever comes next from them, it’s a safe bet they’ll remain steadfast in that identity, wherever else they might take it.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

I’m sitting up trying not to fall asleep as I type. I’ve got one eye open and one eye closed like I’m trying to compromise with myself and let the right side of my body go back to bed — it’s not yet 5AM — while the left side stays up and finishes this thing off. I wouldn’t say it’s working, but I kind of knew that going in. Not exactly my first time at this dance.

But no, there will be no dancing.

Yesterday in the States was Thanksgiving. If you celebrated, I hope you enjoyed. Like New Year’s, it’s traditionally a take-stock holiday. Yeah, there’s the feast and the turkey, but there’s also the “what are you thankful for,” and so on. There are a lot of people and things in my life for which I should be grateful, that are better than I deserve. It is not always easy to keep that in mind, especially when you’re as much of a narcissistic shit as I am prone to being.

In two weeks I begin a two-week Quarterly Review. The countdown is on. I think it’s too weeks. Whenever December starts, that’s it. Two full weeks of 10 records a day. It filled up easily. Next week though is a bunch of reviews I want to get in before the year starts to wind down and we get into lists and all that. Greenleaf is in there, Belzebong, Green Dragon, Horehound. There are a couple premieres slated otherwise, but yeah, that’s what’s up. You’ll pardon me if I don’t do proper notes. Right now, holding shift and hitting enter seems really, really hard.

But next Friday the Year-End Poll goes up. Sneaking it in a day early this year. Don’t tell anyone. Or wait, better: Tell everybody.

We’ve been in NJ since Tuesday and have to go back to Massachusetts on Sunday because The Patient Mrs. has some fucking awful work thing that, tragically, doesn’t involve sitting on the couch and eating leftovers while watching Deep Space Nine. I’d say her loss, but I think we all really know it’s mine.

Alright. I’m gonna put the first post of the day up and try to catch some sleep before The Pecan wakes up upstairs. Have a great and safe weekend, and if you’re traveling, stay off I-95. Ha.

Thanks for reading. Forum, radio, merch.

The Obelisk Forum

The Obelisk Radio

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Sunn O))) to Tour Europe in March; Two New Albums in 2019?

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 22nd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Sunn O))) putting out anything is a project one could call ambitious. Not like Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley don’t have a constant stream of other stuff going on at any given point, but even so, the sheer process the band undertakes has become so complicated, so ever-changing, that it’s hard to imagine there isn’t some girding of loins that has to happen before the robes are donned. Nonetheless, as the PR wire hints, there are two new Sunn O))) full-lengths in the works for 2019, which for fans of the long-running dronelords — next year also marks the 20th anniversary for their first demos — should be more than enough to sate the thirst for volume. As to titles, details, release dates and all the rest of that, your guess is as good as mine, but there’s a European tour starting Feb. 28, and while a record may or may not be out by then, at very least one hopes will have more info by then on what might surface when.

Until then, all is speculation and distortion.

Here are the tour dates:

SunnO-Photo-by-JJ-Koczan

SUNN O))) ANNOUNCE THEIR “LET THERE BE DRONE (MULTIPLE GAINS STAGES)” EUROPEAN TOUR MARCH 2019

Sunn O)))) are pleased to present their first European tour since 2016, and the premier tour of their 2019-2020 season. Including their first ever French tour (not including Paris), returning to old haunt Kampnagel in Hamburg, mythical Paradiso in Amsterdam, as well as headlining Elevate festival in Graz, and Divadlo Archa Prague.

Formed in March 1998 Sunn O))) have been challenging the ways we think about music in the twenty years since. A synthesis of diverse: drone, metal, minimalism/maximalism verging on the edge of pure sonic ecstasy, meditation and trance through the power, beauty and colour of sound pressure emanating from their legendary Sunn O))) backline and their earth shaking tectonic compositions of existence, dedicated to the mysteries of life and the cosmos.

O))) has two core members : Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson, supported by a tribe of collaborators. From 1999’s The Grimmrobe Demos to 2018’s Downtown LA Rehearsal/Rifftape; from their now classic albums Black One (2006), Monoliths & Dimensions (2009), Soused (2014) & Kannon (2015) to their forthcoming to-be-revealed-but-recently-completed two 2019 album epics, founders Stephen O’Malley and Greg Anderson have forged paths and connections between the worlds of Metal, contemporary art, drone, new music, jazz and minimalism with startling results while remaining true to the eternal principles of volume, density, elasticity of time, blossoming of saturation viable only to the disciples and fetishists of electric guitar, synthesis, multiple gain stages and some of history’s greatest pure valve amplification.

The current concert line-up extends around power trio of Stephen O’Malley (Guitar), Greg Anderson (Guitar), and their valve guru and long time collaborator Tos Nieuwenhuizen (Moog), aside selected special guests. Together they relentlessly pursue their exploration and elaboration of Sunn O)))’s legendary experiments with the physicality of sound in instrumental based live performances with remarkable events at some of their favourite venues, as well as concerts in singular events and spaces such as Italy’s impressive cultural complex Labrinto Della Masone, Germany’s Ruhrtriennale Festival of Arts, Royal Festival Hall & The Barbican in London, Bergen’s Dømkirke and Manchester International Festival being a few emblematic examples.

Rejoin them in their glorious pursuit of the monumental heaviness.

-Etienne Ni Mhaille, 2018

SUNN O)))
LET THERE BE DRONE (MULTIPLE GAINS STAGES)
March 2019 Europe
Thu 28/02/2019 DE Frankfurt Mousonturm
Fri 01/03/2019 AT Graz Elevate festival/Orpheum ° ~
Sat 02/03/2019 CZ Prague Divadlo Archa °
Sun 03/03/2019 DE Hamburg Kampnagel – K6 °
Mon 04/03/2019 NL Amsterdam Paradiso °
Wed 06/03/2019 FR Lyon L’Epicerie Moderne ÷
Thu 07/03/2019 FR Nancy L’Autre Canal ÷
Fri 08/03/2019 FR Dijon La Vapeur ÷
Sat 09/03/2019 FR Rouen QuasaRites Day/Le 106 •
Mon 11/03/2019 FR Tours Le Temps Machine §
Tue 12/03/2019 FR Nantes Stereolux §
Wed 13/03/2019 FR La Rochelle La Sirene §
Thu 14/03/2019 FR Bordeaux Le Rocher de Palmer §

Supports :
° Puce Mary
÷ Golem Mecanique
§ France
~ Robin Fox presents Single Origin
• Lingua Ignota

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https://sunn.bandcamp.com
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http://www.southernlord.com
http://southernlord.bandcamp.com
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Sunn O))), Live at Psycho Las Vegas 2018

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Goliathan Stream Albion EP in Full

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on November 15th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

 goliathan (Photo by Ekaterina Gorbacheva)

Goliathan issue their new EP, Albion, this Friday, Nov. 16, on Metal Assault Records with a release show to coincide at 5 Star Bar in their native Los Angeles (info here). The instrumentalist L.A. four-piece who share their name with Weedeater‘s 2015 album released their debut, Awakens, in 2016, and in Albion they offer three tracks and 24 minutes not of stoner sludge, but of more intricate post-metal and modern doom. “Albion,” “Vaalbara” and “Aberration” are progressive not in the sense of being a technical showcase — they clearly know what they’re doing, but nobody’s trying to put on a clinic — but in terms of the life breathed into the arrangement of sections, the flow of the material, and the interweaving of the two guitars from Shawn Doster and Kevin Cogill, as well as the overarching atmosphere of foreboding that seems to permeate the material. With pro-shop drums from Philip Bailey and the low end weight of bassist Neal Gardner anchoring, the band engage in conscious exploration that holds firm to considerations of structure along with tonal impact.

And “tonal impact” is a prevalent factor pretty much from the start of the leadoff title-track onward. An initial chug would seem to put Goliathan in a place somewhere between Isis and Russian Circles and the Ufomammut/YOB-style kosmiche, but they’re not really content to stick to one or the other, and are clearly more interested in developing their own take than emulating that of others. The build happening in “Albion” is based around that chug, which becomes a theme Goliathan Albionaround which the song is based in its early going, but a break in the middle third to ambient spaces does well in shifting the mindset toward a more linear stretch that builds from its airiness to heft-laden post-rock in its finish. Feedback echoes out and Bailey‘s drums launch “Vaalbara” with Gardner soon joining before the guitars lurch to life, but while the centerpiece is the shortest inclusion at 7:38, it marks a change in the construction from the eight-minute opener before it, taking a more straightforward approach as opposed to the melding of two disparate movements together, crafting a fluidity that’s enacted without molten effects overload but consuming even in its directed charge. Resolution comes in about the last minute, which sees the drums pull back and the guitars exhale some of the tension that’s been mounting, creating a wash of distortion that carries on a fade into “Aberration.”

Call me crazy, but with a song called “Aberration,” it doesn’t seem so unreasonable to think that might be where a band is changing it up. To a degree, that’s what happens in the finale, but really it’s more about bringing everything together in terms of the underlying rhythms and the guitars working overhead. A series of start-stops in the first two minutes smooths into a melodic roll before a lumbering nod and subsequent chug-out take hold, the latter sustained for an almost maddening amount of time. As the 8:47 closer works into its final third, Goliathan once again find their footing in a push of engrossing tonality and crash, but the last minute is dedicated to a return to the prior staccato-ism, giving yet another sense of there being a plot followed all along. And so there has been. More so than one might think to look at the runtimes of the songs themselves, Albion is a pretty efficient in-and-out listening experience, tracked live but with a steadiness to its execution that speaks to a burgeoning level of patience in their craft. I would not be surprised if the quiet stretch in “Albion” led to more such developments, and likewise, if the stomp of “Aberration” did the same, however much of an outlier it may be positioned as being for now.

You can hear Albion in its entirety on the player below ahead of the official release tomorrow, followed by the band’s bio, which is full of ‘L.A. band story’ stuff that’s always a good time.

Please enjoy:

The idea of Goliathan first came about in 2006 when Philadelphia punk veterans, childhood friends and longtime artistic co-conspirators Shawn Doster and Kevin Cogill found themselves living together in Los Angeles after their tour van broke down. It was then that the duo started to explore moodier and more mature frontiers, transcending the boundaries of the blackened crust music Shawn had been writing up to that point. After gestating for a full ten years, Goliathan finally found steady footing with Neal Gardner and Philip Bailey completing a perfectly balanced, permanent lineup. In 2016, the band released their debut EP Awakens, and began performing locally, garnering a unanimously awe-struck reaction from all who would bear witness.

Neal Gardner is an accomplished and versatile composer, producer, and educator, masterfully fluent in music theory who has found a home writing and playing bass in Goliathan. Drummer Phillip Bailey was a founding member of Systematic, discovered by Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, and signed to his Elektra imprint The Music Company before moving on to do session work in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Shawn and Kevin (a.k.a. “Skwerl”) flank the rhythm section with dueling guitars and a telepathic chemistry refined over nearly 25 years of playing together.

Following up their 2016 debut, Goliathan is now ready to release a 3-track monsterpiece called Albion, recorded in Lincoln Heights by Manny Nieto (Health, Trash Talk, The Breeders), mixed by Sean Beavan (NIN, Marilyn Manson, Slayer), and mastered by Maor Appelbaum (Faith No More, Rob Halford). Albion is releasing on CD, LP and digital formats on November 16 2018 via Metal Assault Records.

Shawn Doster: Guitar
Kevin Cogill: Guitar
Neal Gardner: Bass
Phillip Bailey: Drums

Goliathan on Thee Facebooks

Goliathan on Bandcamp

Metal Assault Records website

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