Olde to Release Temple CD on Salt of the Earth

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 9th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

olde

I have on a good many occasions made my feelings known about the compact disc as a format. I’m a fan. Not that I don’t enjoy spending the occasional day listening to vinyl records, but if I’m reaching for physical media, I generally feel way less neurotic about handling even the flimsiest of digipaks before I do the fragile, so-easily-bent corners of even the sturdiest of gatefold LPs. Plus they’re cheaper. Not as cheap as tapes, which are also cool, but still. I’m not going to say a bad word about the vinyl resurgence, because it’s helped a lot of really good music find an entire generation’s worth of ears at this point and of course that’s amazing; I guess it’s just the era I was born into was of the CD, and at this point, while I have a decent amount of 12″ and 7″ and 10″ platters around, the CD is what my archive is based around. It is my format of record.

Why am I going through all of this again? Because I’m glad to see that with an upcoming of-course-gorgeous LP through STB Records and a cassette through Medusa Crush Recordings that also looks pretty rad, Toronto noisemakers Olde will release a CD of their 2017 album, Temple (review here), through Salt of the Earth Records. Nice to not have one’s preferred format left out in the cold, and all the better since it looks like we might get some extra tracks with this version too.

Here’s the announcement from Salt of the Earth:

olde temple

Olde – Temple – Salt of the Earth

SALT OF THE EARTH RECORDS is rabidly excited to announce the signing of Toronto, Canada’s OLDE.

With the impending vinyl release of their second full length record, “Temple”, through STB Records, and a release on cassette through Medusa Crush Recordings, OLDE sought a home for the CD release of this beastly album. SALT OF THE EARTH RECORDS was a perfect fit.

This special edition CD digipack version of OLDE’s much anticipated “Temple” record will be the first edition of the release to feature all the songs written and recorded for the “Temple” recording sessions – a definitive version of the album presented as it was originally conceived and featuring expanded artwork. These additional tracks really contribute to the overall sonic gravity of the album, making this an essential release for fans of the band. Stick this in your CD player, turn it all the way up, and let the waves of heavy crush you…come worship at OLDE’s “Temple”.

Coming soon to SALT OF THE EARTH RECORDS.

OLDE is:
Vocals- Doug McLarty
Guitars- Greg Dawson and Chris “Hippy” Hughes
Drums- Ryan Aubin
Bass- Cory McCallum

https://www.facebook.com/oldedoom/
https://oldedoom.bandcamp.com/releases
https://www.facebook.com/SaltOfTheEarthRec/
http://www.saltoftheearthrecords.com
http://stbrecords.bigcartel.com
https://www.facebook.com/STB-Records-471228012921184/
http://medusacrushrecs.storenvy.com/
https://medusacrushrecordings.bandcamp.com/

Olde, Temple (2017)

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The Hazytones Sign to Ripple Music & Oak Island Records; Album out Nov. 3

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 2nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

Attitude-laden heavy garage-psych doomers The Hazytones have inked not one, but two new label deals for their self-titled debut. The Montreal three-piece of Mick Martel, Adam Gilbert and Antoine St-Germain also issued the album digitally on their own in 2016 and subsequently earlier this year on tape through Hellas Records in Indonesia and Canada’s own Sunmask Records, so it’s safe to say at this point that the record has engendered some significant response.

Listening back through the nine-track offering and basking in the bassy groove of “Day of the Dead,” the space-cultistry of centerpiece “Children of the Universe” and the forward thrust of “Fool’s Paradise,” yeah, I get it. They’re right in between a couple different lines of subgenre and play to one side or another very well in these tracks, all the while casting an identity of their own in the process. I posted about the band back in Spring when they were headed out on tour and the record made enough of an impression on me then to keep them in mind. They definitely seem like suitable fodder for a wider release. Cheers all round.

Here’s info and announcements gathered from the social medias:

the-hazytones-photo-brooke-dee

The Hazytones – Ripple Music & Oak Island Records

It’s a big day today, we announce our signature on Ripple Music!!! Vinyl’s and cd’s are coming November 3rd. In a week we will have all the USA dates for our tour in January.

Here’s the other big news we had in store. Announcing our partnership with Kozmik Artifactz. They will be distributing our album, as well as producing Cd’s/Vinyl’s through their sub label Oak Island Records. Release date is November 3rd!

Says Ripple Music:

Please welcome to the family. Canadian retro doom rockers, The Hazytones!! Debut album due out this November with a new new album to follow next year. So psyched to work with these guys and bring them into the family.

Says Oak Island Records:

We are extremely excited to be partnering with our good friends at Ripple Music to bring you guys the rockin’ debut by Montreal power trio, The Hazytones

The debut will drop early November with Ripple handling the US release and Oak Island Records distributing throughout Europe. These guys rock hard, so be sure to check them out!

The Hazytones is a group of stoner rock founded in 2015 in Montreal. In September 2015, The Hazytones began the production of their debut album recorded and mixed at ReelRoad studio located in Rosemont – La Petite-Partie in Montreal. After a few month of labor, the band launched his first single ‘’Living On The Edge’’, followed by a music video. To mark the imminent release of their first titled album, the trio got on the road across Canada(23 shows) from August to September 2016.

The band launched their first titled album on September 22nd at La Rockette bar in Montreal at the Pop Montreal festival. The album was well received by the stoner/psychedelic community in Canada, USA and Europe.

More recently, the band toured Europe (UK, Belgium, Switzerland and France) for 28 days and 10 days after they embarked on a Canadian tour that led them all the way to Vancouver and back.

For the Hazytones future, a full U.S.A tour is scheduled in January and a second album is on its way. The band has been signed to two labels, Ripple Music and Kozmik Artifacts. Both labels will produce Cd, Vinyls and handle the digital distribution. Everything is set to be release on November 3rd.

The Hazytones are:
Mick Martel – guitar/vocals
Adam Gilbert – bass/backing vocals
Antoine St-Germain – drums

https://www.facebook.com/TheHazytones/
http://www.twitter.com/TheHazytones/
https://www.instagram.com/thehazytones/
https://thehazytones.bandcamp.com/releases
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
ripplemusic.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/oakislandrecords/
http://shop.bilocationrecords.com/index.php?k=1072&lang=eng

The Hazytones, The Hazytones (2016)

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Quarterly Review: The Necromancers, The Asound & Intercourse, Bohr, Strobe, Astrosaur, Sun Q, Holy Mount, Sum of R, IIVII, Faces of the Bog

Posted in Reviews on September 25th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk quarterly review

The season is changing here in the Northeastern part of the US. Leaves have just barely started to change, and the summertime haze that settles over the region for for the better parts of June, July and August has largely dissipated. It’s getting to be hoodie weather after the sun goes down. This past weekend was the equinox. All of this can only mean it’s time for another Quarterly Review — this one spanning a full Monday-to-Monday week’s worth of writeups. That’s right. 60 albums between now and a week from today. It’s going to be a genuine challenge to get through it all, but I’m (reasonably) confident we’ll get there and that when we’re on the other side, it will have been completely worth the lengthy trip to get there. Hell, you know the drill by now. Let’s not waste any time and get to it, shall we?

Quarterly Review #1-10:

The Necromancers, Servants of the Salem Girl

the-necromancers-servants-of-the-salem-girl

A noteworthy debut from the Poitier, France-based four-piece The Necromancers, whose coming has been much heralded owing in no small part to a release through Ripple Music, the six-track/41-minute Servants of the Salem Girl lumbers through doom and cultish heavy rock with likewise ease, shifting itself fluidly between the two sides on extended early cuts like opener “Salem Girl Part I” and the nine-minute “Lucifer’s Kin,” which gets especially Sabbathian in its roll later on. The album’s midsection, with the shorter cuts “Black Marble House” (video premiere here) and “Necromancers,” continues the flow with a general uptick of pace and ties together with the opening salvo via the burly vocals of guitarist Tom, the solo work of Rob on lead guitar, and the adaptable groove from bassist Simon and drummer Ben, and as the penultimate “Grand Orbiter” engages moody spaciousness, it does so with a refusal to commit to one side or the other that makes it a highlight of the album as a whole. The Necromancers finish contrasting rhythmic tension and payoff nod on “Salem Girl Part II,” having long since thoroughly earned their hype through songwriting and immediately distinct sonic persona. There’s growth to do in melodicism, but for being “servants,” The Necromancers show an awful lot of command in structure and style.

The Necromancers on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music website

 

The Asound & Intercourse, Split 7″

the asound intercourse split

Noise is the order of things on the Tsuguri Records split 7” between New Haven, Connecticut’s good-luck-Googling aggressives Intercourse and North Carolinian sludge rockers The Asound. Each band offers a two-song showcase of their wares, with Intercourse blasting short jabs of post-hardcore/noise rock angularity on “Too Fucked to Yiff” and “Corricidin is a Helluva Drug” and The Asound bringing a more melodic heavy rock swing to “Slave to the Saints” while saving a more galloping charge for “Human for Human.” It’s a quick sampling, of course, and “Slave to the Saints” is the relative epic inclusion as the only one over three minutes long – it goes to 4:20, naturally – but boasts a surprisingly professional production from The Asound and an unhinged vibe from Intercourse that meets them head on in a way both competitive and complementary to the aggression of “Human for Human.” Fodder for the bands’ merch tables in its limited-to-300, one-time-only pressing, but there’s hardly anything wrong with that. All the more worth grabbing it if you can, while you can.

The Asound on Thee Facebooks

Intercourse on Thee Facebooks

Tsuguri Records on Thee Facebooks

 

Bohr, Bohr

bohr bohr

Officially called Self-Title, this two-song outing released by Tandang Records and BTNKcllctv serves as the first release from Malaysia’s Bohr, and with shouts and growls duking it out over massive plodding tones on opener “Voyager,” they seem to take position right away in the post-Conan verve of megadoom. Peppered-in lead work showcases some welcome nuance of personality, but it’s the second track “Suria” that trips into more surprising terrain, with a faster tempo and something of a letup in thickness, allowing for a more rocking feel, still met with shouted vocals but hinting at more of a melodic reach nonetheless. The shift might be awkward in the context of a full-length, but on a debut single/EP, it works just fine to demonstrate what may or may not be a nascent breadth in Bohr’s approach. They finish “Suria” with hints of more to come in a plotted guitar lead and are done in about 10 minutes, having piqued interest with two disparate tracks that leave one to wonder what other tricks might be up their collective sleeve.

Bohr on Thee Facebooks

Tandang Records on Bandcamp

BTNKcllctv on Bandcamp

 

Strobe, Bunker Sessions

strobe bunker sessions

It’s worth noting outright that Strobe’s Bunker Sessions was recorded in 1994. Not because it sounds dated, but just the opposite. The Sulatron Records release from the under-exposed UK psychedelic rockers finds them jamming out in live-in-studio fashion, and if you’d told me with no other context that the resultant six-track/40-minute long-player was put to tape two months ago, I’d absolutely have believed it. This would’ve been the era of their 1994 third album, The Circle Never Ends, and while some can hear some relation between that and Bunker Sessions in the shimmering lead and warm underscoring basslines of 10-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Sun Birth,” the drift in “Chameleon Earth,” synth-laden space rock meandering of “Opium Dreams” and cymbal-wash-into-distortion-wash of closer “Sun Death” are on a wavelength of their own. It’s something of a curio release – a “lost album” – but it’s also bound to turn some heads onto how ahead of their time Stobe were in the ‘90s, and maybe we’ll get lucky and Sulatron will use it to kick off a full series of convenient LP reissues.

Sulatron Records on Thee Facebooks

Sulatron Records webstore

 

Astrosaur, Fade In / Space Out

astrosaur-fade-in-space-out

While their moniker brings to mind pure stoner idolatry, Oslo instrumentalists Astrosaur acquit themselves toward more progressive fare with Fade In // Space Out, their Bad Vibes Records debut album, finding open spaces in bookending extended opener “Necronauts” and the dramatic shift between droning experimentalism and weighted lumber of the closing title-track even as middle cuts “Space Mountain,” “Yugen” and “Fishing for Kraken” balance with fits of driving progressive metallurgy. Comprised of Eirik Kråkenes, Steinar Glas and Jonatan Eikum, Astrosaur do get fuzzy for a bit on “Yugen,” but by the time they’re there, they’ve already space-doom-jazzed their way through such a vast aesthetic swath that it becomes one more stylistic element in fair-enough play. Open in its structure and building to an affecting cacophony in its ending, Fade In // Space Out is defined in no small part by its stylistic ambition, but whether it’s in the head-spinning initial turns of “Fishing for Kraken” or the stretch of peaceful, wistful guitar after the seven-minute mark in “Necronauts,” that ambition is admirable multifaceted and wide-reaching.

Astrosaur on Thee Facebooks

Bad Vibes Records website

 

Sun Q, Charms

sun q charms

There’s an encouraging and decidedly pro-shop fullness of sound being proffered on Sun Q’s debut full-length, Charms, to match an immediate sense of songcraft and stylization that puts them somewhere between heavy psych and more driving fuzz rock. Vocalist Elena Tiron takes a forward position in opener “Petals and Thorns” over the briskly-captured tones from guitarist Ivan Shalimov and bassist Denis Baranov while drummer Pavel Poseluev pushes the proceedings along, and whether they’re bringing in Seva Timofeev’s Hammond for the subsequent bluesy vibing of “After This,” toying with pop playfulness on “Plankton,” giving Andrey Tanzu percussive room on “Dancing Souls” or going full-expanse on keyboard-laden centerpiece and aptly-titled longest cut “Space,” there’s purpose behind the variety on offer and Sun Q never seem to lose their sense of poise throughout. There are moments where the bite of the production hits a little deep – looking at you, “Plankton” – but especially as their debut, Charms lives up to the name it’s been given and establishes these Moscow natives as a presence with which to be reckoned as they move forward.

Sun Q on Thee Facebooks

Sun Q on Bandcamp

 

Holy Mount, The Drought

holy mount the drought

White Dwarf Records picked up what by my count is Holy Mount’s fourth full-length, The Drought, for a vinyl issue following the Toronto foursome’s self-release last year, and with the immersive, dense heavy psych nod of “Division,” it’s little wonder why. The seven-cut LP is the second to feature the lineup of Danijel Losic, Brandon McKenzie, Troy Legree and Clayton Churcher behind 2014’s VOL, and its moments of nuance like the synth at the outset of “Blackened Log” or the blend of tense riffing and post-The Heads shoegaze-style vocal chants on the markedly insistent highlight cut “Basalt” only further the reasoning. The penultimate “Blood Cove” returns some to of the ritual sense of “Division,” and The Drought’s titular finale pierces its own wash with a lead that makes its apex all the more resonant and dynamic. Not nearly as frenetic as its cover art would have you believe, the already-sold-out vinyl brims with a vibe of creative expansiveness, and Holy Mount feel right at home in its depths.

Holy Mount on Thee Facebooks

White Dwarf Records webstore

 

Sum of R, Orga

sum of r orga

Over the course of its near-hour runtime, Orga, the Czar of Crickets-issued third full-length from Bern, Switzerland, ambient outfit Sum of R deep-dives into droning atmospheric wash while effectively producing headphone-worthy depths and avoiding the trap of redundant minimalism. Chimes in a song like “Desmonema Annasethe” and ringing bells in “We Have to Mark this Entrance” give a feeling of lushness instead that serves the release well overall, and these details, nuances, take the place of what otherwise might be human voices coursing through the bleak mire of Orga’s progression. One might look to closing duo “Let us Begin with What We Do Not Want to Be” and “One After the Other” for some sense of hopefulness, and whether or not it’s actually there, it’s possible to read it into the overarching drone of the former and the percussive movement of the latter, but by then Sum of R have well set the mood in an abiding darkness, and that remains the prevailing vibe. Not quite dramatic or brooding in a human/emotional sense, Orga casts its drear in soundscapes of distant nighttime horizon.

Sum of R website

Czar of Crickets Productions website

 

IIVII, Invasion

iivii invasion

Noted graphic artist and post-metal songwriter Josh Graham – formerly visuals for Neurosis, but also art for Soundgarden and many others, as well as being known for his work with A Storm of Light and the woefully, vastly underrated Battle of Mice – makes his second ambient solo release in the form of IIVII’s Invasion on Belgian imprint Consouling Sounds. A soundtrack-ready feel pervades the nine tracks/44 minutes almost instantly and holds sway with opener “We Came Here from a Dying World (I)” finding complement in the centerpiece “Tomorrow You’ll be One of Us (II)” and a thematic capstone in closer “Sanctuary,” only furthering the sense of a narrative unfolding throughout. There are elements drawn in “Unclouded by Conscience” from the atmospheric and score work of Trent Reznor and/or Junkie XL, but Graham doesn’t necessarily part with the post-metallic sense of brooding that has defined much of his work even as the pairing of “We Live” and “You Die” late in the record loops its way to and through its dramatic apex. Obviously not going to be for everyone, but it does make a solid argument for Graham as a composer whose breadth is still revealing itself even after a career filled with landmarks across multiple media.

IIVII on Thee Facebooks

Consouling Sounds website

 

Faces of the Bog, Ego Death

faces-of-the-bog-ego-death

In some of their shifts between atmospheric patience and churning intensity – not to mention in the production of Sanford ParkerFaces of the Bog remind a bit of fellow Windy City residents Minsk on their DHU Records debut album, Ego Death, but prove ultimately more aggressive in the thrust of “Drifter in the Abyss” and the later stretch of “The Serpent and the Dagger,” on which the guitars of Mark Stephen Gizewski and Trey Wedgeworth (both also vocals) delve into Mastodonic leads near the finish to set up the transition into the 10:33 title-track, which begins with a wash of static noise before Paul Bradfield’s bass sets up the slow nod that holds sway and only grows bigger as it presses forward. That cut is one of two over the 10-minute mark, and the other, closer “Blue Lotus,” unfolds even more gradually and ventures into cleaner vocals presaged on “The Weaver” and elsewhere as it makes its way toward an album-payoff crescendo marked by drummer Danny Garcia’s thudding toms and a low end rumble that’s as much a presence unto itself as a harbinger of progression to come.

Faces of the Bog on Thee Facebooks

DHU Records webstore

 

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Vision Éternel Premiere Video for “Pièce No. Trois”

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 28th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

vision eternel

Vision Éternel‘s ‘Pièce No. Trois’ is precisely that: a piece. It comes from 2015’s Echoes from Forgotten Hearts (review here), which is the latest release from the ambient solo-project of Montreal-based texture-weaver Alexandre Julien — formerly of psychedelic black metallers Vision Lunar, among others — and is one of seven pièces to be included on the offering. Each one works in a roughly similar vein of minimalist cinematic drama, something vague but hopeful in Julien‘s shimmering guitar tonality and gentle approach, but they remain distinctive with pauses between and, short as they are and short as the whole outing is, never get lost or too caught up in any individual moment. One might think of each Vision Éternel track as fleeting, and that would seem to be the intent.

Atmosphere over impact. Impression over reality. Evocation over direct narrative. Though it’s been two years since Echoes from Forgotten Hearts came out, and for a solo-project like this, that can be a long time, Vision Éternel has a considerable back catalog amassed of these headphone-ready meditations, and vision-eternel-echoes-from-forgotten-heartsas “Pièce No. Trois” explores layering in strum and drone guitar, the depths Julien brings to bear so quickly in a 90-second video impress all the more for the efficiency that both matches the scope of the band and doesn’t make the material feel rushed or overblown in terms of arrangement. There’s a grace to Vision Éternel‘s output across Echoes from Forgotten Hearts that carries into the mood and has a melancholy effect on the listener. It asks little for indulgence and delivers much in immersion.

The project has been celebrating its 10th anniversary throughout 2017, and along with new merchandise and an impending box set collecting past material together in one place, the occasion has called for a revisit to Echoes from Forgotten Hearts and a video that’s apparently been years in the making. Like the song itself, the visual accompaniment for “Pièce No. Trois” is deeply atmospheric, featuring strung together clips of Julien giving what essentially might be taken as a kind of sightseeing tour of Montreal — but, you know, an artsy sightseeing tour. No double-decker bus or anything. Nonetheless, he passes by landmarks subtly placed throughout that, if you happen to be familiar with places like the John Young Monument or the old railroad tracks, you might catch a glimpe of them here or there.

And even if not, it’s 90 seconds long. What the hell do you have to lose? Jeez. Included below is some more background from Abridged Pause Recordings on the video, copious links, and the full stream of Echoes from Forgotten Hearts from Vision Éternel‘s Bandcamp, in case you’d like to dig further.

Please enjoy:

Vision Éternel, “Pièce No. Trois” official video

As part of Vision Éternel’s 10-year anniversary celebration, it is with extreme pleasure that we are releasing a brand new music video for “Pièce No. Trois”. It’s been seven and a half years since Vision Éternel last released a music video, for “Season In Absence” in March of 2010. “Pièce No. Trois” is one of seven songs that appears on the concept EP “Echoes From Forgotten Hearts”, released through Abridged Pause Recordings on February 14th of 2015. This music video is long overdue after having its fair share of disasters and lost footage over the years.

A key filming location was the former Dalhousie Station where pre-production pictures had been snapped a month prior. Additional scenes were filmed nearby, above and under the Notre-Dame overpass and with the former Viger Station in the distance. Another shot was set up in the Saint-Dizier alleyway in the Old Port of Montreal which has old cobblestone paving and was wet from the melting snow and grainy from the salt, sand and rock pebbles used to deal with ice in the winter.

Vasily Atutov directed the music video for “Pièce No. Trois” from July 22nd to July 23rd of 2017. You can see more of Vasily Autotuv’s photography on Flickr and Instagram. He is now open to work with musicians on artwork and video editing, so get in touch with him at epicmap@gmail.com.

It took ten years to happen but Vision Éternel finally has band t-shirts available! The first set of shirts feature Jeremy Roux’s “classic” Vision Éternel logo, which he designed in the summer of 2008. The second batch of shirts feature Christophe Szpajdel’s “10-year anniversary” logo, which he drew in the spring of 2017. This logo honours the black metal origins of Vision Éternel; Alexandre Julien founded Vision Éternel as a side-project while playing in two black metal bands: Throne Of Mortality and Vision Lunar.

Vision Éternel, Echoes from Forgotten Hearts (2015)

Vision Éternel website

Vision Éternel on Thee Facebooks

Vision Éternel on Twitter

Vision Éternel on Instagram

Vision Éternel on Soundcloud

Vision Éternel on Spotify

Vision Éternel on Bandcamp

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A Devil’s Din Premiere Video for “Eternal Now”; One Hallucination Under God out Sept. 29

Posted in Bootleg Theater on August 23rd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

a-devils-din-photo-christine-deita

Montreal trio A Devil’s Din aim a little bit earlier than many in the current sphere of retro-minded rock, eschewing the proto-metallic boogie of the early ’70s in favor of the mid-to-late ’60s psychedelia that spawned it. On Sept. 29, they’ll issue their third long-player, One Hallucination Under God, via their own Island Dive Records imprint, and its influence in classic surf and garage-a-delic vibe is evident from the opening notes of “Eternal Now,” for which you can see a video premiere below marked out by colorful manipulation of old cartoons, found-seeming footage and, apparently, whatever else the band decided fit the spirit they were going for.

And quite a spirit it is. The hook of “Eternal Now” has some push of the earliest space rock from drummer Dom Salameh, but from the running bassline of Tom G. Stout to the vocal harmonies that would seem to be led by guitarist Dave Lines, the arrangement feels lush and warm in a way that more than earns its accompanying colorful swirl. True to their aesthetic, “Eternal Now” has a straightforward verse/chorus structure and at just under three and a half minutes there’s not much room to wander from it, but with the blend of keys and guitar, the wash of melody in the vocals and the pervasive sense of weirdness across its still-brief span, there’s plenty to dig into for those looking for a quick trip into the far and farther out.

I haven’t heard the full album yet, but I wouldn’t necessarily expect “Eternal Now” to speak for the entirety of One Hallucination Under God. To wit, in Dec. 2016, A Devil’s Din issued the 13-minute single-song digital EP, I’m Freaking Out: The Saga of the Missing Child, as the follow-up to their June-released sophomore full-length, Skylight — their debut was 2011’s One Day all this Will be Yours — and it was an entirely more progressive and theatrical affair, harder in the impact of its tones and less cosmically directed on the whole, though those elements were still there in the especially varied second half of the song. That may have been a one-off, but Skylight had plenty of diversity in its sound as well, so I’m just giving a heads up “Eternal Now” might not be the complete story when it comes to One Hallucination Under God, however much the long-player may all be part of one expanded-consciousness experience.

More info on One Hallucination Under God and some statement direct from A Devil’s Din follows the “Eternal Now” video below and comes courtesy of the PR wire. Once again, album is out Sept. 29 and will be available direct from the three-piece via their Bandcamp.

Please enjoy:

A Devil’s Din, “Eternal Now” official video

A Devil’s Din on “Eternal Now”:

“‘Eternal Now’ opens the album. It’s an upbeat song with a snazzy guitar riff and verse sung in three-part harmony. The chorus is the closest thing we have to a pop song, but when pop wasn’t a disposable, corporate-driven product. Overall, the theme of the album is about ‘Perception Versus Reality,’ how our world is essentially a subjective experience and a reflection of our individual thoughts and judgments. This idea is perhaps best expressed by semanticist Alfred Korzybski’s dictum, ‘The map is not the territory.’ Songs like ‘Sea of Time,’ ‘Eternal Now,’ ‘Where Do We Go?’ and the title-track all touch on this theme: how we are born into a reality and then conditioned into accepting that this version of reality is ‘it’… And anyone who’s been on the Psychedelic Path will tell you otherwise.

A Devil’s Din are the psychedelic brainchild of UK-born Montreal-based multi-instrumentalist David Lines; joined on his creative journey by disciple of the Rickenbaker bass Thomas Chollet, and virtuoso drummer Dom Salameh. They are a trio of sonic alchemists that together create a chemical wedding of cosmic chords, constantly seeking the philosopher’s stone of the perfect psychedelic song. And as we all know, it’s not the journey — it’s the trip!

A Devil’s Din has two fine albums under their collective kaftans, ‘One Day All This Will Be Yours’ (2011) and ‘Skylight’ (2016), and now, as though creating a trans-dimensional triptych, they unleash ‘One Hallucination Under God’.

‘One Hallucination Under God’ will be available as of September 29th, 2017.

A Devil’s Din is:
Dave Lines, Guitar/Keyboards/Vocals
Tom G. Stout, Bass/Guitar/Vocals
Dom Salameh, Drums/Perc/Vocals

A Devil’s Din on Thee Facebooks

A Devil’s Din on Twitter

A Devil’s Din on Bandcamp

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Woodhawk Canadian Tour Starts Sept. 3; New Video Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 31st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

woodhawk-photo-mario-a-montes

Hooks, hooks, hooks, riffs, riffs, riffs, fuzz, fuzz, fuzz, groove, groove, groove. These are the things that Calgary trio Woodhawk will bring with them this Fall when they hit the road in their native Canada for what they’re calling the ‘Woodhawk Strikes Back’ tour. If you’re wondering what the Star Wars connection might be, aside from being stoked for Episode VIII and the forthcoming Han Solo movie that has Hobie Doyle from Hail Caesar! in the titular role, if I’m not mistaken it’s also the second run of Canadian dates Woodhawk are undertaking to support their earlier-2017 full-length, Beyond the Sun (review here), which also had a song on it titled “A New Hope.” So there you go. All has been made clear.

The three-piece also have a new video posted for “The High Priest” from that album that you can watch below, and whether you heard the record when it came out or not, the already-stuck-in-your-head chorus makes a considerable argument in favor of another visit. Some bands just know how to write a song.

Info follows from the PR wire:

woodhawk tour poster

WOODHAWK “Strikes Back Tour” (AB/SK/BC) + Riff-tastic Debut “Beyond The Sun” Out Now!

Calgary’ AB’s masters of straight ahead riff-rock wizardry WOODHAWK will be hitting the road this September for their second Western Canadian tour (AB/SK/BC) (dates listed below) in support of their full length album ‘Beyond The Sun’ released this past April. The album was produced by the band with Jesse Gander (Bison, Japandroids) to follow their 2014 debut EP. Made of equal parts 1970’s Birmingham and a myriad of 21st century heavy who’s who, WOODHAWK are purveyors of riff-centric rock and roll. Capable and original, the band is able to craft anthemic fist-pumping songs while forgoing tired stoner rock clichés. With time travel tested themes of science fiction, swords and sorcery, the band’s lyrics are born from snowy winters, hot practice spaces and pages of dog-eared paperbacks. While the musicianship reinforces recollections of Black Sabbath, modern influences that have helped you smash air drums or highway speed limits are undeniably present.

The band comments:

“This tour sees us wrapping up our western Canada touring in support of Beyond The Sun. Western Canada is so good to us. A New Hope seeme d to be a lot of people’s favourite song off the album, so we thought it would be funny to pull another Star Wars reference out, with naming the tour Woodhawk Strikes Back.”

‘Beyond The Sun’ album stream available on Bandcamp at https://woodhawk.bandcamp.com.

The album is available on digital, vinyl and CD.

WOODHAWK Strikes Back Tour (AB/SK/BC)
Sept 3 – Calgary, AB – Atlantic Trap and Gil
Sept 8 – Lethbridge, AB – The Slice
Sept 9 – Regina, SK – The German Club
Sept 15 – Golden, BC – The Rockwater
Sept 16 – Vancouver, BC – The Astoria
Sept 23 – Kelowna, BC – Doc Willoughby’s
Oct 7 – Edmonton, AB – UP+DT Festival – Downtown Edmonton Community League

Woodhawk is:
Turner Midzain – Vocals/Guitar
Mike Badmington – Bass/Vocals
Kevin Nelson – Drums

http://www.woodhawkriffs.com
http://facebook.com/woodhawkriffs
http://twitter.com/woodhawkriffs
http://instagram.com/woodhawkriffs
https://woodhawk.bandcamp.com

Woodhawk, “The High Priest” official video

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Review & Track Premiere: Shooting Guns, Flavour Country

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on July 21st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

shooting guns flavour country

[Click play above to stream the premiere of ‘Flavour Country’ by Shooting Guns. Flavour Country is out Aug. 11 via RidingEasy Records and available to preorder here. You can also hear “French Safe” at the bottom of this post.]

There are no words on Shooting GunsFlavour Country except for a sample at the beginning of the penultimate title-track from Richard Linklater’s 1991 film, Slacker. An interviewer asks someone what it would take for them to get a job, and the answer comes back, “Hey, I’ll get a job when I hear the true call,” and it goes on from that point: “To all you workers out there: Every single commodity you produce is a piece of your own death.” Beyond that, the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, outfit’s self-recorded third album and first for RidingEasy Records — with a noteworthy mastering job by former Monster Magnet and Wellwater Conspiracy guitarist John McBain (see also: Kandodo/McBain and Carlton Melton) — is completely instrumental. It would be hard to overstate the effect that single 30-second stretch has on the listener.

Taken as the beginning of a side-B comprised only of the title-track and languid, lumbering LP-closer “Black Leather Jacket,” each of which tops eight minutes on its own, the sample acts as a defining moment in terms of attitude and perspective for the six-piece, who in addition to the 2011 debut Born To Deal In Magic: 1952-1976 and 2013 Brotherhood of the Ram LPs put together the soundtrack for the Netflix film WolfCop in 2014 and have had a slew of short releases out, most recently 2015’s Himalaya to Mesopotamia split with fellow Canadian ritualists Zaum (review here). Imagine you get to say one thing on your record. One thing. You say “fuck work.” That’s kind of what’s happening here, and it aligns Shooting Guns to a dropped-out-of-life heavy hippiedom in which the space-rocking push of opener “Ride Free” and the drone-backed pastoral drift of “Vampires of Industry” feel equally at home.

Fluidity is the core impression. Liquefaction. Shooting Guns, who list their lineup with seven members (Keef, Laramee, Jay Loos, Jim Ginther, Toby Bond, Zach Low and Brennan Barclay despite showing six on the cover of Flavour Country, commence “Ride Free” with a simple riff and a faded in second guitar behind before the Hawkwindy thrust begins in earnest, giving an almost grunge-style impression in its first couple measures that winds up subtly showing the shared roots of space rock and punk in straight-ahead attitude. The difference is punk goes to ground while space rock goes far out, and Shooting Guns will wind up doing a bit of both and then some as Flavour Country runs through its six tracks/34 minutes, holding fast to an unpretentious throb while realizing moods from across a swath of headphone-ready heavy psychedelia and doom, malleable in style and tempo but keeping its course on an overarching cosmic trajectory. Dudes trip. Off they go. Whoosh and swirl. Sweep and churn and a bit of plod.

If one is listening to the CD or digital version of Flavour Country — something linear, rather than the vinyl requiring the side-A-to-B flip — it makes sense to break the album down into thirds. The first, made up of “Ride Free” and the subsequent “French Safe,” is the shortest at barely over five minutes between the two tracks, and “French Safe” (1:42) proves even faster and more raw-motor-punk than the opener before it. There’s still some noise and effects swirl behind, but it’s almost as though Shooting Guns are engaging the boosters that will carry them out of the atmosphere as a means of immersing their audience in the rest of the record to come.

Perhaps on that level it’s somewhat ironic that “Beltwhip Snakecharmer” and “Vampires of Industry,” the two six-minutes-each cuts that follow, are so earthy in their overall vibe. Earthy and Earth-y, actually, with “Beltwhip Snakecharmer” providing a dreamed-out hypnotic nod into a quickly-executed apex en route toward the more drone-informed ambience of “Vampires of Industry,” which is a serene and patient highlight of Flavour Country as a whole and effective transition point to set up the aforementioned sample at the intro to the title-track, quieting the proceedings and the mind before Shooting Guns deliver what would seem to be the core message behind the work they’re doing throughout.

And who could disagree? “Look at me,” say the character’s opening lines as cars pass behind, “I’m making it. I may live badly, but at least I don’t have to work to do it.” Feedback rises from beneath that sample and leads into the sludgy stomp of “Flavour Country” itself, the name of the song and album derived from cigarette ads and the tonal buzz ensuing suitably dried-leaf-brown in color. Guitar leads careen atop the core riff in a melodic semi-wash, but it’s the slow groove that’s central to the piece as it marches to its even-noisier crescendo, sounding all the more live-tracked and maybe even improv-based as the drums cut out for a final 30-seconds or so of feedback and amp hum that fades out to let “Black Leather Jacket”‘s stage-setting intro riff begin clean.

The closer is the longest piece on Flavour Country at 8:36 and consistent with the two-songs-as-thirds model, it rounds out the last movement of the album following suit from the title-track’s lumber before it. But it’s even slower, and despite being only about 20 seconds longer than “Flavour Country,” feels more purposefully drawn out, giving way similarly to noise after the seven-minute mark but bringing the drums back for an additional few measures of crash before they stop again and the noise fades quickly to end the record. This final section of Flavour Country, after the kosmiche opening salvo of “Ride Free” and “French Safe” and the trip across the Canadian prairie in “Beltwhip Snakecharmer” and “Vampires of Industry,” is heavier and more doomed, but it underscores the breadth Shooting Guns bring to their material.

If they’re ending on a somewhat sinister note, it’s a considerable journey Shooting Guns take to get there, and perhaps that sonic pilgrimage is itself the alternative the band are offering to the standard, commodity-making death of living in a capitalist system. Maybe that’s reading too much into it, but even if so, it’s a worthy achievement of evocation on the part of the group in putting their audience in that frame of mind, and all the more admirable on the level of both asking a question and answering it. Quit your job. Eat mushrooms. Trade one reality for another. It’s a quick listen, and no doubt it will fly under the radar for many, but Flavour Country‘s resonance makes righteous fodder for multiple repeat visits, and those who take it on with an open mind will be all the more engrossed. Right fucking on.

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Flavour Country at RidingEasy’s webstore

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Quarterly Review: Ecstatic Vision, Norska, Bison, Valborg, Obelyskkh, Earth Electric, Olde, Deaf Radio, Saturndust, Birnam Wood

Posted in Reviews on July 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-summer-2017

It turns out that, yes indeed, I will be able to add another day to the Quarterly Review this coming Monday. Stoked on that. Means I’ll be trying to cram another 10 reviews into this coming weekend, but that’s not exactly a hardship as I see it, and the stuff I have picked out for it is, frankly, as much of a bonus for me as it could possibly be for anyone else, so yeah, look out for that. In the meantime, we wrap the Monday-to-Friday span of 50 records today with another swath of what’s basically me doing favors for my ears, and I hope as always for yours as well. Let’s dig in.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Ecstatic Vision, Raw Rock Fury

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Hard touring and a blistering debut in 2015’s Sonic Praise (review here) quickly positioned Ecstatic Vision at the forefront of a Philadelphia-based mini-boom in heavy psych (see also: Ruby the Hatchet, Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlsome Bells, and so on), and their Relapse-issued follow-up, Raw Rock Fury, only delves further into unmitigated cosmic swirl and space-rocking crotchal thrust. The now-foursome keep a steady ground in percussion and low end even as guitar, sax, synth and echoing vocals seem to push ever more far-out, and across the record’s four tracks – variously broken up across two sides – the band continue to stake out their claim on the righteously psychedelic, be it in the all-go momentum building of “You Got it (Or You Don’t)” or the more drifting opening movement of closer “Twinkling Eye.” Shit is trippy, son. With the echoing-from-the-depths shouts of Doug Sabolik cutting through, there’s still an edge of Eastern Seaboard intensity to Ecstatic Vision, but that only seems to make Raw Rock Fury live up to its title all the more. Still lots of potential here, but it’ll be their third record that tells the tale of whether they can truly conquer space itself.

Ecstatic Vision on Thee Facebooks

Ecstatic Vision at Relapse Records website

 

Norska, Too Many Winters

norska-too-many-winters

Issued through Brutal Panda, Too Many Winters is the second full-length from Portland five-piece Norska, and its six tracks/48 minutes would seem to pick up where Rwake left off in presenting a progressive vision of what might be called post-sludge. Following an engaging 2011 self-titled debut, songs like the title-track and “This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” churn and careen through Sourvein-style abrasion, vaguely Neurosis-style nod and, in the case of the latter or closer “Fire Patience Backbone,” soundscaping minimalism that, in the finale, is bookended by some of the record’s most intense push following opener “Samhain” and the subsequent “Eostre.” That salvo starts Too Many Winters with a deceptive amount of thrust, but even there atmosphere is central as it is to the outing as a whole, and a penultimate interlude in the 2:22 “Wave of Regrets” does well to underscore the point before the fading-in initial onslaught of “Fire Patience Backbone.” Having Aaron Rieseberg of YOB in the lineup with Jim Lowder, Dustin Rieseberg, Rob Shaffer and Jason Oswald no doubt draws eyes their way, but Norska’s sonic persona is distinct, immersive and individualized enough to stand on its own well beyond that pedigree.

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Norska at Brutal Panda Records website

 

Bison, You are Not the Ocean You are the Patient

bison-you-are-not-the-ocean-you-are-the-patient

Think about the two choices. You are Not the Ocean You are the Patient. Isn’t it the difference between something acting – i.e., an object – and something acted upon – i.e., a subject? As British Columbian heavy rockers Bison return after half a decade via Pelagic Records, their fourth album seems to find them trying to push beyond genre lines into a broader scope. “Until the Earth is Empty,” “Drunkard,” “Anti War” and “Raiigin” still have plenty of thrust, but the mood here is darker even than 2012’s Lovelessness found the four-piece, and “Tantrum” and closer “The Water Becomes Fire” bring out a more methodical take. It’s been 10 years since Bison issued their debut Earthbound EP and signed to Metal Blade for 2008’s Quiet Earth, and the pre-Red Fang party-ready heavy rock of those early works is long gone – one smiles to remember “These are My Dress Clothes” in the context of noise-rocking centerpiece “Kenopsia” here, the title of which refers to the emptiness of a formerly occupied space – but if the choice Bison are making is to place themselves on one side or the other of the subject/object divide, they prove to be way more ocean than patient in these songs.

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Bison at Pelagic Records website

 

Valborg, Endstrand

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With its churning, swirling waves of cosmic death, one almost expects Valborg’s Endstrand (on Lupus Lounge/Prophecy Productions) to be more self-indulgent than it is, but one of the German trio’s greatest assets across the 13-track/44-minute span of their sixth album is its immediacy. The longest song, “Stossfront,” doesn’t touch five minutes, and from the 2:14 opener “Jagen” onward, Valborg reenvision punk rock as a monstrous, consuming beast on songs like “Blut am Eisen,” “Beerdigungsmaschine,” “Alter,” “Atompetze” and closer “Exodus,” all the while meting put punishment after punishment of memorable post-industrial riffing on “Orbitalwaffe,” the crashing “Ave Maria” and the noise-soaked penultimate “Strahlung,” foreboding creeper atmospherics on “Bunkerluft” and “Geisterwürde,” and landmark, perfectly-paced chug on “Plasmabrand.” Extreme in its intent and impact, Endstrand brings rare clarity to an anti-genre vision of brutality as an art form, and at any given moment, its militaristic threat feels real, sincere and like an appropriate and righteous comment on the terrors of our age. Fucking a.

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Valborg at Prophecy Productions website

 

Obelyskkh, The Providence

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Probably fair to call the current status of German post-doomers Obelyskkh in flux following the departure of guitarist Stuart West, but the band has said they’ll keep going and their fourth album, The Providence (on Exile on Mainstream) finds them capping one stage of their tenure with a decidedly forward-looking perspective. Its six-song/56-minute run borders on unmanageable, but that’s clearly the intent, and an air of proggy weirdness infects The Providence from the midsection of its opening title-track onward as the band – West, guitarist/vocalist Woitek Broslowski, bassist Seb Fischer and drummer Steve Paradise – tackle King Crimson rhythmic nuance en route to an effects-swirling vision of Lovecraftian doomadelia and massive roll. Cuts like “Raving Ones” and 13-minute side B leadoff “NYX” play out with a similarly deceptive multifaceted vibe, and by the time the penultimate “Aeons of Iconoclasm” bursts outward from its first half’s spacious minimalism into all-out High on Fire thrust ahead of the distortion-soaked churn of closer “Marzanna” – which ends, appropriately, with laughter topping residual effects noise – Obelyskkh make it abundantly clear anything goes. The most impressive aspect of The Providence is that Obelyskkh manage to control all this crunching chaos, and one hopes that as they continue forward, they’ll hold firm to that underlying consciousness.

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Exile on Mainstream Records website

 

Earth Electric, Vol. 1: Solar

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Former Mayhem/Aura Noir guitarist Rune “Blasphemer” Ericksen leads breadth-minded Portuguese four-piece Earth Electric, and their devil-in-the-details Season of Mist debut, Vol. 1: Solar, runs a prog-metal gamut across a tightly-woven nine tracks and 35 minutes, Ericksen’s vocals and those of Carmen Susana Simões (Moonspell, ex-Ava Inferi) intertwine fluidly at the forefront of sharply angular riffing and rhythmic turns from bassist Alexandre Ribeiro and drummer Ricardo Martins. The organ-laced push of “Meditate Meditate” and “Solar” and the keyboard flourish of “Earthrise” (contributed by Dan Knight) draw as much from classic rock as metal, but the brew Earth Electric crafts from them is potent and very much the band’s own. “The Great Vast” and the shorter “Set Sail (Towards the Sun)” set up a direct flow into the title cut, and as one returns to Earth Electric for repeat listens, the actual scope of the album and the potential for how the band might continue to develop are likewise expansive, despite its many pulls into torrents of head-down riffing. Almost intimidating in its refusal to bow to genre.

Earth Electric on Thee Facebooks

Earth Electric at Season of Mist website

 

Olde, Temple

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After debuting in 2014 with I (review here), Toronto’s Olde return via STB Records with Temple, proffering sludge-via-doom vibes and a center of weighted tonality around which the rest of their aesthetic would seem to be built, vocalist Doug McLarty’s throaty growls alternately cutting through and buried by the riffs of guitarists Greg Dawson (also production) and Chris “Hippy” Hughes, the bass of Cory McCallum and the rolling crashes of drummer Ryan Aubin (also of Sons of Otis) on tightly constructed pieces like “Now I See You” and the tempo-shifting “Centrifugal Disaster,” which reminds by its finish that sometimes all you need is nod. Olde have more to offer than just that, of course, as the plodding spaciousness of “The Ghost Narrative” and the lumbering “Maelstrom” demonstrate, but even in the turns between crush and more open spaces of the centerpiece title-track and the drifting post-heavy rock of closer “Castaway,” the underlying focus is on capital-‘h’ Heavy, and Olde wield it as only experts can.

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STB Records webstore

 

Deaf Radio, Alarm

deaf radio alarm

Based in Athens and self-releasing their debut album, Alarm, in multiple vinyl editions, the four-piece of Panos Gklinos, Dimitris Sakellariou, Antonis Mantakas and George Diathesopoulos – collectively known as Deaf Radio – make no bones about operating in the post-Queens of the Stone Age/Them Crooked Vultures sphere of heavy rock. To their credit, the songwriting throughout “Aggravation,” “Vultures and Killers” and the careening “Revolving Doors” lives up to that standard, and though even the later “Oceanic Feeling” seems to be informed by the methods of Josh Homme, there’s a melodic identity there that belongs more to Deaf Radio as well, and keeping Alarm in mind as their first long-player, it’s that identity that one hopes the band will continue to develop. Rounding out side B with the howling guitar and Rated R fuzz of the six-minute “…And We Just Pressed the Alarm Button,” Deaf Radio build to a suitable payoff for the nine-track outing and affirm the aesthetic foundation they’ve laid for themselves.

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Saturndust, RLC

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The further you go into Saturndust’s 58-minute second LP RLC, the more there is to find. At any given moment, the São Paulo, Brazil-based outfit can be playing to impulses ranging from proggy space rock, righteously doomed tonal heft, aggressive blackened thrust or spacious post-sludge – in one song. Over longform cuts like “Negative-Parallel Dimensional,” “RLC,” “Time Lapse of Existence” and closer “Saturn 12.C,” the trio cast a wide-enough swath to be not quite genreless but genuinely multi-tiered and not necessarily as disjointed as one might expect in their feel, and though when they want to, they roll out massive, lumbering riffs, that’s only one tool in a full arsenal at their apparent disposal. What tie RLC together are the sure hands of guitarist/vocalist Felipe Dalam, bassist Guilherme Cabral and drummer Douglas Oliveira guiding it, so that when the galloping-triplet chug of “Time Lapse of Existence” hits, it works as much in contrast to the synth-loaded “Titan” preceding as in conjunction with it. Rather than summarize, “Saturn 12.C” pushes far out on a wash of Dalam’s keyboards before a wide-stomping apex, seeming to take Saturndust to their farthest point beyond the stratosphere yet. Safe travels and many happy returns.

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Saturndust on Bandcamp

 

Birnam Wood, Triumph of Death

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Massachusetts doomers Birnam Wood have two prior EPs under their collective belt in 2015’s Warlord and a 2014 self-titled, but the two-songer single Triumph of Death (kudos on the Hellhammer reference) is my first exposure to their blend of modern progressive metal melody and traditional doom. They roll out both in able fashion on the single’s uptempo opening title-track and follow with the BlackSabbath-“Black-Sabbath” sparse notemaking early in their own “Birnam Wood.” All told, Triumph of Death is only a little over nine minutes long, but it makes for an encouraging sampling of Birnam Wood’s wares all the same, and as Dylan Edwards, Adam McGrath, Shaun Anzalone and Matt Wagner shift into faster swing circa the eponymous tune’s solo-topped midpoint, they do so with a genuine sense of homage that does little to take away from the sense of individuality they’ve brought to the style even in this brief context. They call it stoner metal, and there’s something to that, but if we’re going on relative balance, Triumph of Death is more doom-stoner than stoner-doom, and it revels within that niche-within-a-niche-within-a-niche sensibility.

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Birnam Wood on Bandcamp

 

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