Quarterly Review: Stuck in Motion, AVER, Massa, Alastor, Seid, Moab, Primitive Man & Unearthly Trance, Into Orbit, Super Thief, Absent

Posted in Reviews on March 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-spring-2019

Let the games begin! The rules are the same: 10 albums per day, this time for a total of 60 between today and next Monday. It’s the Quarterly Review. Think of it like a breakfast buffet with an unending supply of pancakes except the pancakes are riffs and there’s only one dude cooking them and he’s really tired all the time and complains, complains, complains. Maybe not the best analogy. Still, it’s gonna be a ton of stuff, but there are some very, very cool records included, so please keep your eyes and your mind open for what’s coming, because you might find something here you really dig. If not, there’s always tomorrow. Let’s go.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Stuck in Motion, Stuck in Motion

stuck in motion self-titled

The classic style cover art of Swedish trio Stuck in Motion‘s self-titled debut tells much of the story. It’s sweet-toned vintage-style soul rock, informed by Graveyard to some degree, but more aligned to retroism. The songs are bluesy and natural and not especially long, but have vibe for weeks, as demonstrated on the six-minute longest-track “Dreams of Flying,” or the flute-laden closer “Eken.” What the picture doesn’t tell you is the heavy use of clavinet in the band’s sound and just how much the vintage electric piano adds to what songs like “Slingrar” with its ultra-fluid shifts in tempo, or the sax-drenched penultimate cut “Orientalisk.” Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Max Kinnbo, drummer Gustaf Björkman and bassist/vocalist/clavinetist Adrian Norén, Stuck in Motion‘s debut successfully basks in a mellow psychedelic blues atmosphere and shows a patience for songwriting that bodes remarkably well. It should not be overlooked because you think you’re tired of vintage-style rock.

Stuck in Motion on Thee Facebooks

Stuck in Motion on Bandcamp

 

AVER, Orbis Majora

aver orbis majora

Following up their 2015 sophomore outing, Nadir (review here), which led to them getting picked up by Ripple Music, Australia’s AVER return with the progressive shove of Orbis Majora, five songs in 50 minutes of thoughtfully composed heavy progadelica, and while it’s not all so serious — closer “Hemp Fandango” well earns its title via a shuffling stonerly groove — opener “Feeding the Sun” and the subsequent “Disorder” set a mood of careful craftsmanship in longform pieces. The album’s peak might be in the 13-minute “Unanswered Prayers,” which culls together an extended linear build that’s equal parts immersive and gorgeous, but the rest of the album hardly lacks for depth or clarity of purpose. An underlying message from the Sydney four-piece would seem to be that they’re going to continue growing, even after more than a decade, because it’s not so much that they’re feeling their way toward their sound, but willfully pushing themselves to refine those parameters.

AVER on Thee Facebooks

Ripple Music on Bandcamp

 

Massa, Walls

massa walls

Flourish of keys adds nuance to Massa‘s moody, heavy post-rock style, the Rotterdam-based trio bringing an atmosphere to their second EP, Walls, across five tracks and 26 minutes marked by periodic samples from cinema and a sense of scope that seems to be born of an experimental impulse but not presented as the experiment itself. That is, they take the “let’s try this!” impulse and make a song out of it, as the chunky rhythm of instrumental centerpiece “Expedition” or the melodies in the prior “#8” show. Before finishing with the crash-into-push of the relatively brief “Intermassa,” the eight-minute “The Federal” complements winding guitar with organ to affect an engaging spirit somewhere between classic and futurist heavy, with the drums holding together proceedings that would seem to convey all the chaos of that temporal paradox. Perhaps it was opener “Shiva” that set this creator/destroyer tone, but either way, Massa bask in it and find a grim sense of identity thereby.

Massa on Thee Facebooks

Massa on Bandcamp

 

Alastor, Slave to the Grave

alastor slave to the grave

The first full-length from Swedish doomplodders Alastor and their debut on RidingEasy Records, late 2018’s Slave to the Grave is the four-piece’s most expansive offering yet in sonic scope as well as runtime. Following the 2017 EPs Blood on Satan’s Claw (review here) and Black Magic (review here), the seven-song/56-minute offering holds true to the murk-toned cultism and dense low-end rumble of the prior offerings, but the melodic resonance and sense of updating the aesthetic of traditional doom is palpable throughout the roller “Your Lives are Worthless,” while the later acoustic-led “Gone” speaks to a folkish influence that suits them surprisingly well given the heft that surrounds. They make an obvious focal point of 17-minute closer “Spider of My Love,” which though they’ve worked in longer forms before, is easily the grandest accomplishment they’ve yet unfurled. One might easily say the same applies to Slave to the Grave as a whole. Those who miss The Wounded Kings should take particular note of their trajectory.

Alastor on Thee Facebooks

RidingEasy Records website

 

Seid, Weltschmerz, Baby!

seid-weltschmerz_baby-web

If Norwegian space-psych outfit Seid are feeling weary of the world, the way they show it in Weltschmerz, Baby! is by simply leaving it behind, substituting for reality a cosmic starscape of effects and synth, the odd sample and vaguely Hawkwindian etherealism. The centerpiece title-track is a banger along those lines, a swell of rhythmic intensity born out of the finale of the prior “Satan i Blodet” and the mellow, flowing “Trollmannens Hytte” before that, but the highlight might be the subsequent “Coyoteman,” which drifts into dream-prog led by echoing layers of guitar and eventually given over to a fading strain of noise that “Moloch vs. Gud” picks up with percussive purpose and flows directly into the closer “Mir (Drogarna Börjar Värka),” rife with ’70s astro-bounce and a long fadeout that’s less about the record ending and more about leaving the galaxy behind. Starting out at a decent clip with “Haukøye,” Weltschmerz, Baby! is all about the journey and a trip well worth taking.

Seid on Thee Facebooks

Sulatron Records website

 

Moab, Trough

moab trough

A good record tinged by the tragic loss of drummer Erik Herzog during the recording and finished by guitarist/vocalist Andrew Giacumakis and bassist Joe Fuentes, the 10-track/39-minute Trough demonstrates completely just how much Moab have been underrated since their 2011 debut, Ab Ovo (discussed here), and across the 2014 follow-up, Billow (review here), as they bring a West Coast noise-infused pulse to heavy rock drive on “All Automatons” and meet an enduring punker spirit face first with “Medieval Moan,” all the while presenting a clear head for songcraft amid deep-running tones and melodies. “The Will is Weak” makes perhaps the greatest impact in terms of heft, but heft is by no means all Moab have to offer. With the very real possibility this will be their final record, it is a worthy homage to their fallen comrade and a showcase of their strengths that’s bound someday to get the attention it deserves whenever some clever label decides to reissue it as a lost classic.

Moab on Thee Facebooks

Moab on Bandcamp

 

Primitive Man & Unearthly Trance, Split

primitive man unearthly trance split

Well of course it’s a massive wash of doomed and hate-filled noise! What were you expecting, sunshine and puppies? Colorado’s Primitive Man and Brooklyn’s Unearthly Trance team up to compare misanthropic bona fides across seven tracks of blistering extremity that do Relapse Records proud. Starting with the collaborative intro “Merging,” the onslaught truly commences with Primitive Man’s 10-minute “Naked” and sinks into an abyss with the instrumental noisefest “Love Under Will,” which gradually makes its way into a swell of abrasive drone. Unearthly Trance, meanwhile, proffer immediate destructiveness with the churning “Mechanism Error” and make “Triumph” dark enough to live up to its most malevolent interpretations, while “Reverse the Day” makes me wonder what people who heard Godflesh in the ’80s must’ve thought of it and the six-minute finishing move “418” answers back to Primitive Man‘s droned-out anti-structure with a consuming void of fuckall depth. It’s like the two bands cut open their veins and recorded the disaffection that spilled out.

Primitive Man on Thee Facebooks

Unearthly Trance on Thee Facebooks

Relapse Records website

 

Into Orbit, Shifter

Into Orbit Shifter

Progressive New Zealander two-piece Into OrbitPaul Stewart on guitar and Ian Moir on drums — offer up the single Shifter as the answer to their 2017 sophomore long-player, Unearthing. The Wellington instrumentalists did likewise leading into that album with a single that later showed up as part of a broader tracklist, so it may be that they’ve got another release already in the works, but either way, the 5:50 standalone track finds them dug into a full band sound with layered or looped guitar standing tall over the mid-paced drumming, affecting an emotion-driven atmosphere as much as the cerebral nature of its craft. Beginning with a thick chug, it works into more melodic spaciousness as it heads toward and through its midsection, lead guitar kicking in with harmony lines joining soon after as the two-piece build back up to a bigger finish. Whatever their plans, Into Orbit make it clear that just because something is prog doesn’t mean it needs to be staid or lack expressiveness.

Into Orbit on Thee Facebooks

Into Orbit on Bandcamp

 

Super Thief, Eating Alone in My Car

super thief eating alone in my car

Noise-punk intensity pervades Eating Alone in My Car, the not-quite-not-an-LP from Austin four-piece Super Thief. They call it an album, and that’s good enough for me, especially since at about 20 minutes there isn’t much more I’d ask of the thing that it doesn’t deliver, whether it’s the furious out-of-mindness of minute-long highlight “Woodchipper” or the poli-sci critique of that sandwiches the offering with opener “Gone Country” immediately taking a nihilist anti-stance while closer “You Play it Like a Joke but I Know You Really Mean It” — which consumes nearly half the total runtime at 9:32 — seems to run up the walls unable to stick to the “smoke ’em if you got ’em” point of view of the earlier cut. That’s how the bastards keep you running in circles, but at least Super Thief know where to direct the frustration. “Six Months Blind” and the title-track have a more personal take, but are still worth a read lyrically as much as a listen, as the rhythm of the words only adds to the striking personality of the material.

Super Thief on Thee Facebooks

Learning Curve Records website

 

Absent, Towards the Void

absent towards the void

Recorded in 2016, released on CD in 2018 and snagged by Cursed Tongue Records for a vinyl pressing, Absent‘s Towards the Void casts a shimmering plunge of cavernous doom, with swirling post-Electric Wizard guitar and echoing vocals adding to the spaciousness of its four component tracks as the Brasilia-based trio conjure atmospheric breadth to go along with their weighted lurch in opener “Ophidian Womb.” With tracks arranged shortest to longest between eight and a half and 11 minutes, “Semen Prayer,” “Funeral Sun” and “Urine” follow suit from the opener in terms of overall approach, but “Funeral Sun” speeds things up for a stretch while “Urine” lures the listener downward with a subdued opening leading to more filth-caked distortion and degenerate noise, capping with feedback because at that point what the hell matters anyway? Little question in listening why this one’s been making the rounds for over a year now. It will likely continue to do so for some time to come.

Absent on Thee Facebooks

Cursed Tongue Records webstore

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wizzerd Premiere “Wizard” from Wizzerd LP out June 7

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on March 13th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

wizzerd

Montana-based five-piece Wizzerd have signed to Cursed Tongue Records and will release their self-titled debut album as a 2LP through the label on June 7. With it, the band invite the listener into a world of swords, sorcery and riffs, lumbering out grooves amid a mystical tale of a kingdom usurped a quest for four heroes — plus an observer spirit, who seems also to play keyboard — to restore the rightful heir to the throne. You know, real-world stuff. Something everyone can relate to. Because who among us has not battled a plague-wielding summoner bent on stealing souls in order to gain material power?

All capitalist allegory aside — or at least most of it — the long-player comprises a dudely nine tracks and preorders through Cursed Tongue open April 5. Whether or not you’re down with the fantasy vibes — and if not, why not? — the riffs and burl and the classic-style stoner metal shuffle of “Dragon” or the driving “Phoenix” and the thickened roll of “King of Esbat” have an appeal even out of context, with groove and tonal largesse given priority as the foundation on which the narrative plays out. By the time they get down to the organ intro on the penultimate “Wraith” and the growling vocals and massive wall-o’-fuzz that accompanies, their intent toward the epic is well laid bare, and they wrap “Wizzerd” with enough of a noise wash to make one think immediately there’s a sequel in the works. Everyone knows fantasy literature is a long-term project. Look at The Wheel of Time.

At the bottom of this post, under the considerable signing announcement, band info and album narrative, you’ll find the premiere of “Wizard” taken from the end of side C of the double-vinyl. Please dig in, and please enjoy:

wizzerd st

WIZZERD SIGNS TO CURSED TONGUE RECORDS FOR A WORLD WIDE VINYL RELEASE OF THEIR SELF TITLED NEW ALBUM SET FOR JUNE 7TH, 2019.

Cursed Tongue Records is beyond happy to announce the signing of Wizzerd (Kalispell, MT) for a vinyl release of their self-titled new album on June 7th, 2019 with pre-orders coming April 5th.

Ever since laying ears on Wizzerd’s debut album ‘Doomchild’ back in 2016 (CD/digital) and immediately being swept away by the Wizzerd’s entrancing hymns, it’s been evident that this is a band that’s bound to go places. The Doomchild debut was a very strong first effort and excelled with its mesmerizing psyched-out doom, nice clean vocals and riffs aplenty that made it a most memorable trip worth taking. Even more so, the debut brought forth a promise from the Wizzerd of something big lurking just after the next bend. It was almost as if an untold forewarning of grandiose and epic tales of wizardry just laid slumbering, ready to be awoken.

With this new self-titled concept album, the Wizzerd has indeed unraveled his tale and the future foresights have been fulfilled as ‘Wizzerd’ sees the band grow and expand in every dimension – in time, in depth, in variation, in inspiration and in musicality. ‘Wizzerd’ showcases a band eager to impress but also longing to tell a story and to play their cloaks off and we be all doomed if that’s not exactly what this quintet is doing – and it’s for all of us stoner and doom heads to enjoy!

Wizzerd has spent a considerable amount of time on the road, playing live shows with the result of strengthening the bond between these road warriors. The experience picked up on the road by the band was brought to the fore in the studio creating what we, at Cursed Tongue Records, see as one of the most inspired and interesting “stoner doom” records of 2019. The new Wizzerd album is far from the scene’s typical dull-nodding-doom-plodding generic and mind-numbing slumber excursions – instead the heroes has decided to throw at us a unique take on heavy metal drawing from influences varying from classic heavy metal over folk music to sludge-incrusted doom. You can sometimes hear influences going from Coheed & Cambria and Thin Lizzy to Sleep and Judas Priest. Yes, it’s a far stretch to comprehend but believe us when we say they made the impossible possible.

‘Wizzerd’ is an album that, despite drawing from such a vast array of influences, manage to appear focused, coherent and well proportioned. So look out for the digital album release on March 29th and become enlightened with a conceptual metal album for new-thinkers of doom that when 2019 draws up its final breaths will stand towering high above the current year’s heavy underground releases. This is a top-of-the-mountain release and Cursed Tongue Records is honored to stand on the peak together with the Wizzerd.

Cursed Tongue Records is inclined to give ‘Wizzerd’ the full red carpet (cloak?) treatment, so expect the usual high quality premium heavy weight colored vinyl, gatefold cover, double sided insert, poster, patch, stickers and even A VINYL EXCLUSIVE TRACK – yes, you got that right! The vinyl edition will feature an exclusive song, Druggernaut, that won’t be available elsewhere – and judging by its sheer Sleep-like monolithic nature (and a run-time of 14+ mins) – it’s a track not to be missed. So sit tight as the label unfolds the vinyl pre-orders on April 5, 2019.

The Wizzerd hath spoken!

**BAND BIO**
From deep within the mountains of Montana, in the earthly perish of October in the year 2014, four souls imbued with Sabbathian riffcasting found their ultimate purpose, and thus Wizzerd was born. Soon after, a fifth soul joined in the excursion, completing the vessel of the Doom. These souls crafted their first work through countless hours of basement toils – Doomchild. They began to spread the Doom throughout the land, venturing far beyond their mountainous lair. Now, in this New Year, new magic’s have been conjured, and shall be revealed to the world population, in the form of their self-titled work. Prepare, for one cannot escape the Doom…

**ALBUM NARRATIVE**
A mysterious figure has usurped the throne of the Great King… the lands are in turmoil and people are dying. A plague has spread across the lands, from ocean to ocean… but there is still hope!

Four Heroes, accompanied by an immortal spirit, are on a journey to kill the usurper, end the plague, and save the land. They come from the four corners of Great Gaia’s green world:

The Dragon, a fearsome rogue, a legend of his time, he slayed the Grand elder Dragon of the Great Desert bringing a permanent end to the age of fire.

The Warrior, his family was killed in the first siege of the Doomed. Mortally wounded, he dragged himself into the magickal ancient Forest where he was blessed by the Dryad of the Elder Wood to become the protector of the natural world.

The Wizard, an elderly Wiseman, a reclusive intellectual known by no name, who wields the power to bend reality. He has witnessed mountains crumble, and Oceans dry. He has seen the Apprentice become the Adversary

The Phoenix, an undying madman, his origin and purpose shrouded in mystery. He has dwelled where the mountain tops meet the moon, and flown to where the sea meets the Sky.

The Wraith, an aeons-old inter-dimensional immortal spirit, whose purpose is to bring about and maintain balance between all realities. He resides within the Æther, observing all of times most crucial events.

The Wizzerd, the evil ruler who has usurped the throne from its rightful king. He is the mastermind behind the devastating plague known as “The Doom.” His lust for power, driven by Kæos, has lead him to use his powerful crystal talisman to rob the people of the world of their souls, giving him magickal power beyond comprehension.

Will our heroes bring balance to their world, or will they perish at the hand of the Wizzerd?

So my dear fellow doom heads, it’s time to stand tall and join ranks in the vinyl coven with your equal brethren of the cursed tongue crusade while preparing for battle as the label will unleash thee vinyl pre-order come April 5th.

CTR-420 WIZZERD – ‘WIZZERD’, vinyl official release date: June 7th 2019. (Digital release Mach 29th)

Wizzerd is:
(Jhalen Salazar) Dragon – Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Violin, Voice
(Layne Matkovich) Warrior – Bass Guitar, Cello, Voice
(Jamie Yeats) Wizard – Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Mandolin, Voice
(Samael Moore) Phoenix – Drumset, Percussion, Voice
(Wayne Randall) Wraith – Sythesizer, Organ, Voice, Audiomancy

Guests:
Colton Christensen – Vocals on Dragon
Heathen – Vocals on Dragon
David Graham – Vocals on Warrior
Doug, Grob, Riley, Rachel, Kaitlynn – Army of the Doomed

All music & lyrics by Wizzerd
Recorded and Mixed by Wayne Randall and Wizzerd at Black Magick Studios in Kalispell, Montana
Mastered by Tony Reed at HeavyHead Recording in Port Orchard, Washington
Album cover by Burning Moon
Layout & Design (for vinyl) by Michael Andresakis

Track listing

Side A
1. Druggernaut 14:20 (VINYL ONLY TRACK)

Side B
1. Great Mother Gaia 5:58
2. King Of Esbat 6:02
3. The Doomed 4:51

Side C
1. Dragon 8:21
2. Warrior 5:11
3. Wizard 4:50

Side D
1. Phoenix 3:50
2. Wraith 6:34
3. Wizzerd 5:44

https://www.facebook.com/wizzerddoom/
https://instagram.com/wizzerddoom
https://wizzerd.bandcamp.com/
http://cursedtonguerecords.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CursedTongueRecords
https://www.instagram.com/cursedtonguerecords

Tags: , , , , ,

Solar Halos Premiere “The Living Tide”; Coiled Light LP Due in May

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on February 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

solar halos

You know, usually when you think of something landing like a brick, it’s not a positive image. Like the thing — whatever it is — should be flying. Well, Solar Halos land like a brick even as they fly. It’s a duel-persona that’s writ large all over their upcoming second full-length, Coiled Light, which will be released in April digitally and May 10 on vinyl through Cursed Tongue Records. Drenched in melody and atmosphere, the release finds the North Carolinian three-piece digging into vibes out of post-metal and heavy psychedelia, but while their tones are thick and their plod considerable thanks in no small part to John Crouch‘s right-upside-the-head kickdrum, the intertwining vocals of guitarist/cellist Nora Rogers and bassist/keyboardist Eddie Sanchez bring a Kylesa-style sense of progressivism to the songwriting, albeit somewhat more patient than that band managed to be during their time.

In cuts like “Personal Levee” and “River of Grass” and the more intense shove of closer “Nebulas,” there’s a lot to dig into and one expects that’s a significant part of what led to the Cursed Tongue pickup, as that label’s taste is only growing more reliable by the release. You can hear “The Living Tide” at the bottom of this post, and as the leadoff track, it does the work of establishing the tone and setting the atmospheric foundation for both the largesse and the impact that follows. I think it was the label said something about “crushing psychedelia.” That’s as good as anything I could come up with.

Enjoy:

Solar Halos Coiled Light

SOLAR HALOS SIGNS TO CURSED TONGUE RECORDS FOR A WORLD WIDE RELEASE OF THEIR NEW ALBUM ‘COILED LIGHT’ ON MAY 10TH, 2019.

Cursed Tongue Records is thrilled to announce the signing of the thunderous and soulful yet equally dark and hypnotic heavy psych rock ensemble Solar Halos, NC. Their sophomore album ‘Coiled Light’ will be released on vinyl May 10th via Cursed Tongue Records, with pre-orders coming early April.

It’s been almost 2 years since the band last released new tunes onto the world and over 5 years since Solar Halos released their self-titled debut album via Devouter Records (UK). The passing of time has failed to dim a great first experience. Still vividly remembering the almost religious awakening that was brought upon Cursed Tongue Records owner back in 2014 when first laying ears to Solar Halos pulsating, ground-shaking and beautifully heavy tunes. Hence, we are not far from a dream come true when being passed the opportunity to work with the band on releasing their follow-up album. The debut never left heavy rotation and the new album ‘Coiled Light’ will sure follow troop.

Behind Solar Halos’ Carrboro, NC practice space there are train tracks and a concrete factory. You feel the rumble of diesel engines and sliding stone as much as you hear it. Like the digestive noises of a nation-sized beast, it jars your teeth. It rattles your marrow. It makes you feel small.

Within Solar Halos practice space, John Crouch (drums and percussion), Nora Rogers (guitar, cello, vocals) and Eddie Sanchez (bass, keys and vocals) take the long view. There is an even larger, more patient, more powerful beast, and it will level the field. “When time awaits / when monuments breathe / when mountains return to the sea,” rings Rogers clear and confident call over nuanced, propulsive sludge. “The calm water hides.”

Human endeavor can rumble and rattle and challenge nature, like the heavy industry all around, or it can tap into forces older and more powerful than anything anthropocene. This is a band that thinks in geological time, and an air of levelheaded patience pervades even the most driving songs. With obliquely poetic lyrics that wax mystical and scientific both, Solar Halos sings to the stones, the grass, the sea, the stars and time itself on their second album ‘Coiled Light’.

Recorded summer 2017 by Kris Hilbert at esteemed Greensboro, NC studio Legitimate Business, ‘Coiled Light’ finds Solar Halos tightening its already impressive structures and expanding its expressive horizons both. On “Nebulas” dual vocalists Rogers and Sanchez adopt a Carl Sagan-esque wonder at humanity’s vulnerability to cosmic forces: “It won’t warn you when it fades to black / it won’t charm you as time yields to mass.”

‘Coiled Light’ is psych-metal for naturalists, for philosophers and for listeners willing to take the long view, to accept our species’ impermanence and to walk paths that fade in the light of day.

It’s our anticipation and hope that many more ears will be opened to this truly unique and magnificent band and the heavy underground scene will learn of this phenomenon of nature. “We are happy to help bestow a second sonic revelation upon the Earth’s inhabitants”, the label owner notes.

So get ready to travel through chilled and dimly lit climes brought through an ever shifting provocative aural landscape. Utilizing a doom like weight, Solar Halos finds a radiant and transfixing resourcefulness through varied textures and sounds making their second album an enthralling and intensive examination of and feast for senses and emotions.

Once more Earth will tremble under the soundscapes that emanates from Solar Halos when ‘Coiled Light’ releases digitally on their Bandcamp page April 12th, 2019. It’s a journey you won’t want to miss!

CTR-021: SOLAR HALOS – ‘COILED LIGHT’, vinyl official release date: May 10th, 2019 (Digital release April 12th)

Written and arranged by Solar Halos
Engineered and mixed by Kris Hilburt at Legitimate Business, NC
Mastered by James Plotkin
Drawings & photos by Nora Rogers
Layout & design by Michael Andresakis

Track listing:

side A
1. The Living Tide
2. Personal Levee
3. Ground the Fire

side B
4. River of Grass
5. Conduit
6. Coiled Light
7. Nebulas

Solar Halos is:
John Crouch – drums, percussion
Nora Rogers – guitar, cello, vocals
Eddie Sanchez – bass, keys, vocals

https://www.facebook.com/SolarHalos/
https://www.instagram.com/solar.halos
https://solarhalos.bandcamp.com/
http://cursedtonguerecords.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CursedTongueRecords
https://www.instagram.com/cursedtonguerecords

Tags: , , , , ,

Rivers of Gore to Release Self-Titled LP on Cursed Tongue Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 14th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Mexico City riffbashers Rivers of Gore will release their 2018 self-titled debut through Cursed Tongue Records on vinyl next year. The album, originally comprised of three extended tracks for the digital version — which, hey, you can stream at the bottom of this post, and how about that — has been remastered for vinyl by ever-busy Mos Generator frontman Tony Reed, and with the middle track, “Glory and Punishment,” split into two parts, there’s still plenty of fuzzy ultra-heft to go around, while the guttural vocals of guitarist/vocalist Rolo Riemer echo out over top of the ensuing swirl. A depiction of harsh reality through harsh fantasy, Rivers of Gore‘s LP is not for the feint of heart among the converted. These are riffs for riffers.

The PR wire has the news of Cursed Tongue’s continual expansion. So to that:

rivers of gore (Photo by Ulises Reyes)

RIVERS OF GORE SIGNS TO CURSED TONGUE RECORDS FOR A WORLD WIDE RELEASE OF THEIR DEBUT ALBUM ‘RIVERS OF GORE’ DUE FOR SPRING 2019.

Cursed Tongue Records is happy to announce the signing of Mexican heavy psychedelic gore rockers Rivers Of Gore for a vinyl release of their critically acclaimed debut full length album spring 2019. On first laying ears to this Mexican outfit our faces instantly melted and our bones where grinded to dust. After the first shock of how terrifyingly great this fairly newly formed trio is, we soon gathered what was left of our shattered bodies and sat out to hook up with Rolo, Daniel and Samuel aka the three gringos behind Rivers Of Gore. Luckily the interest was mutual and a contractual basis in blood and bone powder was concocted.

Rivers of Gore, experienced veterans of the heavy underground music scene in Mexico City Samuel López (drums), Daniel García (bass) and Rolando Valseca (aka. Rolo Riemer, guitar/vocals), after being part of bands like Vinnum Sabbathi, Bloodwitch, Powertrip, respectively, now reunite with the purpose of making noises to reveal the images of the dark violent world we live and ‘describing reality through fantasy and epic sounds’.

The guys came together over a shared love of the almighty riff and soon discovered they had tapped into something a little special. Rivers Of Gore’s self titled album is a collection of truly memorable stoner flavored heavy rock with its roots sucking up nutrients from the pools of both doom and psych. Swirling guitar solo’s , growling bass and punishing percussion permeate each of the three songs that make up “Rivers of Gore”, with all three songs coated in low pitched and throaty vocal tones that tell evocative tales of anger, violence and bloodshed.

Only three songs but “River of Gore” will take you on an uncompromising, unswerving and unapologetic journey through the darker recesses of a world that we all try to deny is there but all have to deal with on a day to day basis.

Band statement:
“Reunited to enjoy some riffs and some jams, we started the concept of Rivers of Gore like trying to talk about the violence of life which is ineludible and so irony is the only way we have left to keep laughing in the face of death… so this is an album full of fantasy and perfect to listen to while you violently cut your enemies into little pieces with a heavy rotten axe… cheers all of you out there, thanx for listening… enjoy the trip…”

CTR-019: RIVERS OF GORE – ‘RIVERS OF GORE’, vinyl official release date: actual date TBA – March/April 2019

Rivers Of Gore is:
Samuel López – Drums
Daniel García – Bass
Rolando Valseca – Guitar and Vocals

All songs written and performed by Rivers Of Gore
Recorded and Mixed by Abraham Anell at Bong Records
Mastered for vinyl by Tony Reed at HeavyHead Rec.
Artwork by Zuriel Perikillo Lòpez, Dabitch and Valde Gutiérrez
Layout & design by Michael Andresakis

Track listing:

Side A
1. Abduction (The Message)
2. Glory and Punishment Pt. I

Side B
3. Glory and Punishment Pt. II
4. Shell Shock

https://www.facebook.com/riversofgoredoom
http://instagram.com/riversofgoredoom
https://riversofgore.bandcamp.com/releases
http://cursedtonguerecords.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CursedTongueRecords
https://www.instagram.com/cursedtonguerecords

Rivers of Gore, Rivers of Gore (2018)

Tags: , , , , ,

Captain Caravan: Shun the Sun LP Due Early 2019 on Cursed Tongue Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 16th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

captain-caravan

So the original plan, as discussed when they posted the video for the single ‘Crown’ earlier this year, was that Shun the Sun would be a debut EP from Norwegian heavy rockers Captain Caravan. As anyone who’s ever made any can tell you, plans change. Shun the Sun has expanded from an EP to an LP and, with a digital release set for Nov. 23 — keep an eye out — it’ll now be issued on vinyl by the venerable Cursed Tongue Records, whose pickups have become something of a regular feature around these parts. No coincidence there, since the label does good work and is driven by masterful taste in fuzz and heavy whatnots, and that thread certainly continues with Captain Caravan, as the band have newly unveiled a video for the title-track of Shun the Sun ahead of the initial digital offering (IDO) of the record’s entirety.

You can dig into that at the bottom of this post, as well as the prior clip for “Crown,” because one likes to be thorough. To that end, the copious PR wire info comes courtesy of Cursed Tongue.

Have at it:

captain caravan signing poster

CAPTAIN CARAVAN SIGNS TO CURSED TONGUE RECORDS FOR A WORLD WIDE RELEASE OF THEIR DEBUT ALBUM ‘SHUN THE SUN’ DUE FOR SPRING 2019.

Cursed Tongue Records is happy to announce the signing of Norwegian fuzzy stoner rockers Captain Caravan for a vinyl release of their debut full length album ‘Shun The Sun’ spring 2019. On rare occasions a band comes along that needs little to no time to impress on a paramount scale – fast rewind a few months and enter Captain Caravan on the Cursed Tongue Records band spotlight radar.

We quickly sensed that something grand was underway when JJ at The Obelisk posted a short article about a promising band from Norway that seemingly came out of nowhere. Upon listening to Captain Caravan’s first single “Crown” featuring new singer Johhny Olsen, we instantly knew that this was the real deal, and that a future album would kick some serious ass on the stoner rock scene. After having played the band’s debut album ‘Shun The Sun’ an almost illegal number of times, it’s with confidence that we can say that this is indeed going to happen.

On ‘Shun The Sun’ you will find an unpretentious uppercut to the established horde of stoner/desert/fuzz rock bands as Captain Caravan kicks in the door and claims the crown as the new overlords of riff-heavy, metal-capped stonerized desert rock with melodies so infectious they will keep you humming long after album closer “Book Of Oblivion” takes home the last trump card. But don’t take our words for it, go take a listen to for instance the title track or “Shadow King” to realize the maturity, musicality and “surplus” the four captains of the caravan play with. Fans of such heavy hitters as Sasquatch, Mountain Dust, Greenleaf, Dozer and Wo Fat will find plenty to love on the Kent Stump (of aforementioned Wo Fat fame) mixed and mastered ‘Shun The Sun’.

Captain Caravan from Egersund, Norway were formed in 2015 when BK, Morten, Christian (previous singer) and Geir got together following individual projects, and started to rediscover their collective craft. Based on common musically influences from southern rock, stoner rock and classic rock, the band quickly started writing songs. Slowly, defining their musical profile and sharpening the pen the band began to evolve on their winning formula.

2018 started with a lot of changes. The band parted with Christian and were now looking for a new vocalist. Different singers were tried and tested but Johnny Olsen turned out to be the perfect match for Captain Caravan and after a bit of jamming Johnny got aboard. He was undoubtedly the last piece needed for the band to travel down the somewhat bumpy road with a lot of new inspiration, developing a lot of good ideas, writing new material.

Johnny is a great vocalist and writer, and with loads of experience on stage, and his approach in general, he is clearly the natural born front man. Earlier Johnny has been busy with bands like Moth Circus and Alien Ken, plus several other bands and guest appearances in different projects.

Former Pawnshop guitarist BK Sæstad, well-known for their classic releases and worldwide touring in the early 2000s, is the main songwriter and musician in Captain Caravan, putting his signature on the sound of the band and the main context of the songs, then flavored by Geir and Morten in the rhythm section. Captain Caravan is definitely not the same as Pawnshop, but still one can recognize BKs playing style and sound – It’s all in there somewhere.

Longer, heavier and more experimental songs became the focus, with the powerful, growling, yet melodic voice of Johnny, the band now clearly got their own new sound in place sounding nothing quite like they had done before. Suddenly everything was beginning to gel and the material fell quite easy in place for them.

Captain Caravan started the recording of what was initially supposed to be a six track EP and the single ‘Crown’ was laid down by guitarist BK at his own studio, then mixed and Mastered by Kent Stump from Crystal Clear Sound Recording Studio in Dallas Texas. After the release of ‘Crown’ the band witnessed great feedback and big ups from both fans and reviewers. Among them Niels from the Danish label Cursed Tongue Records. Shortly thereafter Captain Caravan signed with Cursed Tongue Records, plans were then rescheduled and the band was now aiming for a full length album to be released digitally November 23rd, 2018 with vinyl LP slated for release early spring 2019 – things do change fast when on a roll.

The rest of the album was brought to life same way as the band did for ‘Crown’; recordings were done at the bands rehearsal location and at BKs Studio, and Kent at Crystal Clear Sound then took over the material for mixing and mastering both for digital release and vinyl.

Although the band could not be happier than they are with what they have achieved in this process, they still want to get out there with the fans, playing gigs, sharing their new music with as many as possible. Captain Caravan now plan several gigs and touring across boarders in times that come – who knows, they might show up at your doorstep in the near future.

Quotes from the band:

“With this album under our belt, we’re ready to get back to what it’s all about : rocking the house!”

“What it comes down to for us, is that we really dig what we’re doing, and we’ve brought a lot of people something they really dig too. We want people out there to discover our music and share their experience with others, then we have achieved our main goal the band besides having a blast ourselves”.

Band and label clicked from the get go, an instant connection was immediately established and both are dead set on bringing their absolute best. We feel that Captain Caravan sits well in with the rest of the Cursed Tongue Records roster as the label expand on hosting the best from the heavy underground. Cursed Tongue Records will as per usual roll out the red carpet treatment featuring high-quality heavy-weight vinyl in different editions. Also getting the talented Diogo from Soares Artwork to do the album artwork together with Cursed Tongue Records will ensure an equal visual pleasing experience – in other words, we have seen the gatefold artwork and it rocks!

So brace yourself for impact soon as the album will release digitally on Captain Caravan’s Bandcamp page next Friday (November 23rd) and get ready to groove along to an absolute monster of an album!

CTR-018: CAPTAIN CARAVAN – ‘SHUN THE SUN’, vinyl official release date: actual date TBA – March/April 2019

Captain Caravan is:
Johnny Olsen – Vocals
BK Sæstad – Guitar
Morten Skogen – Drums
Geir Solli – Bass

All songs written and arranged by Captain Caravan

Produced by Captain Caravan
Recorded at BK Studio by BK Saestad
Drums on Dirty Red Velvet recorded by Arvid Tjelta
Mixed and Mastered at Crystal Clear Sound by Kent Stump
Front cover artwork by Soares Artwork
Photo by Joakim Kyrø
Layout & design by Michael Andresakis

Track listing:

Side A
1. Crown
2. Illusion of Meaning
3. Shun the Sun
4. Godkiller

Side B
5. Zombie Machine
6. Shadow King
7. Dirty Red Velvet
8. Book of Oblivion

www.captaincaravan.com
https://www.facebook.com/CaptCaravan
http://instagram.com/captaincaravan
http://cursedtonguerecords.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CursedTongueRecords
https://www.instagram.com/cursedtonguerecords

Captain Caravan, “Shun the Sun” official video

Captain Caravan, “Crown” official video

Tags: , , , , ,

Absent Sign to Cursed Tongue Records; Towards the Void LP Due in 2019

Posted in Whathaveyou on October 10th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

absent

In the wee hours of 2018, Brazilian cave-doomers Absent issued their debut album, Towards the Void, digitally via Bandcamp, in the ways of such things. It’s a record geared toward nod and tonal largesse, and though the band call it an EP, it’s definitely full-length in concept, runtime, flow and execution. I don’t care if their next release is an hour long. This one is an album.

That quibble aside, the good news for anyone who heard Towards the Void and lost themselves within its murky depths is that Cursed Tongue Records has seen fit to snag the release for a vinyl pressing that’s set to come out early in the New Year. I don’t have an exact date, but the label’s announcement says “January,” so I figure “early” covers it. Either way, I have no doubt that preorders will be up beforehand, and isn’t that how people buy things nowadays anyway?

Anyway, you can stream the record in full at the bottom of this post — if you only have time for one track, might I recommend the 10-minute “Funeral Sun,” which starts off like one of YOB‘s epics and builds toward a pummeling apex that’s the most extreme moment on the LP. Makes a good teaser.

Cursed Tongue‘s announcement follows:

absent cursed tongue records

ABSENT SIGNS TO CURSED TONGUE RECORDS FOR A WORLD WIDE RELEASE OF THEIR DEBUT ALBUM ‘TOWARDS THE VOID’ SCHEDULED FOR EARLY 2019.

Cursed Tongue Records is happy to announce the signing of Brazil psych doomers Absent for a vinyl release of their highly esteemed debut album ‘Towards The Void’ arriving from a deep space black hole in early in 2019.

Absent is a musical congregation founded in 2015 in Brasília, Brazil. The band members describe their trademark as “a hypnotic blend of ritual heaviness, cyclopean riffs and vocalic mantras that echo the messages from the void. A leap of faith in the profoundest chasms of low tones and slowness with an energetic curiosity for experimental fields. A soporific infusion crafted in fuzz, reverb, delay, phaser and smoke.”

In 2017 Absent released a digital single ‘Funeral Sun’, one of four songs that make up the debut LP entitled “Towards the Void”. In January 2018, the album “Towards The Void”, recorded in 2016, was released on Digipak CD through the union of four national labels: Underground Resistance (Pernambuco), The Metal Vox (Bahia), Misanthropic Records (DF) and Left Hand Records (Paraná). Shortly after that, a jewel case CD version is released by World War Now Records (Canada), putting the band on a higher level concerning foreign recognition. In May 2018, Absent signs to Cursed Tongue Records (Denmark) for a vinyl release of “Towards the Void” that will boast all new artwork by Wizard Of Meth (ao. Mephistofeles, Savanah, Black Furs).

Like their obvious inspirational sources, the band draw from equal doses of Aleister Crowley magic and long droning song structures not following the usual path and much like some of their musical peers like Electric Wizard, Windhand and Acid King they rely on a production just polite enough; their sound isn’t expendable and null, but visceral so any emotional charge and atmospheric dirt load is preserved in along their work.

Absent mine a way through the doom spheres all of their own, going places most doomed bands never dare to wander or have the musical dexterity to pull off, even incorporating elements from black metal. Gregorian chant-like passages are intertwined with the ethereal clean sung voice of Thiago Satyr. They are able to pass from spacy psychedelic to super-heavy and slow in a flick of the wrist.

The vast and often winding soundscapes buried within the depth of this album are like a really intricate drawing. Occult in nature, but with excruciating details: symmetry, darkness and grace. Ugly in its immediate appearance yet also beautiful while oh so heavy. Advanced but primitive and above all dark. Like a ritual sacrificial ceremony, this is the ultimate astral mind journey to reach true emotional void within.

So this is not your typical standard doom and don’t expect to fully grasp what’s at stake within first listen, but the dedicated listener will be rewarded in spades. At Cursed Tongue Records that’s just the musical fuel that feeds our black engines and keep us grinding all night. Signing Absent was a natural move and showcases in best ways that darker site of the heavy underground spectrum that CTR this time seeks to portray. Come join us in a severe round of face melting with Absent slowly grinding your skull to powder.

When “Towards the Void” was released digitally nearly a year ago it was probably not the album that many doom metal fans, especially those less open to the more traditional psychotropic and atmospheric verve, had expected, but who suddenly invaded the end of 2017 and also securing Absent a place on January 2018 Doom Charts (#19). “Towards The Void” has quickly established itself as the work that every fan of the doom genre simply NEED in their collection. Now it’s time to honor that need as Cursed Tongue Records will bring its usual connoisseur vinyl release setup to doomed turntables across the globe.

“Towards The Void” will be out on high quality, heavy weight vinyl via Cursed Tongue Records in January 2019.

CTR-015 Absent – ‘Towards The Void’, vinyl official release date: exact date TBA, 2019

Absent is:
Luan Lima – Guitars
Maurício Caio – Drums
Thiago Satyr – Vocals and Bass

Music by Absent
Lyrics by T. Satyr
Produced by Pedro Santos and Absent
Photos by Samara Carvalho
Artwork & Layout by Wizard Of Meth
Mastered for vinyl by Tony Reed of HeavyHead Co.

Track listing:

Side A
1. Ophidian Womb (8:34)
2. Semen Prayer (10:13)

Side B
3. Funeral Sun (10:22)
4. Urine (11:32)

absentdoom.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/absentdoom
http://cursedtonguerecords.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CursedTongueRecords
https://www.instagram.com/cursedtonguerecords

Absent, Towards the Void (2018)

Tags: , , , , ,

Psychlona to Release Mojo Rising on Ripple Music & Cursed Tongue Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 27th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

psychlona

Cooperation! Spanning continents! Cursed Tongue Records and Ripple Music align to stand behind Mojo Rising, the debut album from Bradford, UK, four-piece Psychlona, and they leave little question as to why. The album — nine songs/50 minutes running from “Stone” to “Beakfoot” with a riffy, desert-stretched-out but still weighted course worthy of the band’s moniker — hits with a bit of Clutchy blues in “Big River” and a whole lot of early Fu Manchu-style roll in “Juju,” but it’s ultimately the psychedelic thread that ties it all together, whether it’s the brash pub-style riffage of “Down in the Valley” or jam-into-shove-into-jam-into-slowdown groove in “Burning Cave,” a spacious lead guitar tone that conjures impossible reaches no matter how much crunch seems to be surrounding. And make no mistake, here’s plenty of crunch to go around.

The album seems to have been taken down from Bandcamp, which will happen with this kind of thing when a previously-issued record gets picked up, but if you’ve got Spotify you can stream it for the time being at the bottom of this post. Otherwise, the release date for the well-supported offering is Nov. 30, so you can mark your calendars, make your preorders or whatever it is you need to do. Plenty of time.

Copious kebab-centered info follows here, courtesy as ever of the PR wire:

PSYCHLONA SIGNS TO CURSED TONGUE RECORDS AND RIPPLE MUSIC FOR WORLD WIDE RELEASE OF THEIR DEBUT ALBUM ‘MOJO RISING’ IN NOVEMBER 2018.

Cursed Tongue Records and Ripple Music have teamed up for a joint release of City of Bradford, UK stoner rockers Psychlona’s heavy grooving debut album ‘Mojo Rising’. The four brads or ‘dirty desert rock kebab eating mofos’, as they prefer to introduce themselves, impressed both labels on an immense level when their debut album hit the online web-spheres back in the spring of 2018. A hard-hitting, heavy-driving, fuzz-drenched foundation forms the basis on which flares and outbursts of guitar-swirls spirals to another dimension in time and space.

Mojo Rising is the premiere sonic excursion to a heady generation looking for a new mode of transportation to mindful salvation (oh, ok back it up). You got the point made here. So, if spacy, psyched out stoner rock is the thing that float your boat, look no further as Psychlona got you plenty covered. Mojo Rising ought to hit an audible solar plexus on any fan of Spaceslug, Kyuss, Dozer, Fu Manchu and Monster Magnet.

Psychlona is a fairly new band, but already stands out as a strong, unified entity with many years under the belt. However it was in summer 2015 when Phil (guitar/vocals) walked into a scruffy bar to watch an equally scruffy band knock out a few scruffy tunes. Scanning the immediate vicinity to see who else was out tonight, a shabby drunken figure barely able to stand but fully able to hold his beer glass leered out of the dark shadows. Enter Dave (guitars). Dave and Phil had shared various stages on the same bill over the preceding few years as members of The Drastics and Threshold Shift. It was the obvious thing to do – form a new band. The fact they were both guitarists and didn’t have a bass player or drummer around wasn’t a problem. Both were aware of a local four stringer called Martyn who had played previously in other bands with Phil. Rehearsals began soon with no agenda but more importantly no drummer. Various percussionists came and went. After some time passed finally a solid contendor (Scott) to the drum stool entered. Initial sessions went well but the guys knew they needed to ask Scott a very important question – how do you like your kebabs? With extra chilis was the response from the bearded one. A match made in heaven then and he joined the family. Rehearsals, gigs, more rehearsals, new material brings us to the present day – the impending release of Mojo Rising on both CD, digital and vinyl.

Despite the band’s young age, Psychlona has already played with and shared stage with 1968, Barbarian Hermit, Loomer, Morass of Molasses as well as their good mates Ironrat and Lizard Tongue. The band also organise and promote their own festival twice a year (Idlefest), which is growing bigger each time. On the signing with Danish based label Cursed Tongue Records and US-label Ripple Music, Psychlona comments: “We’re proud to be joining the Ripple and Cursed Tongue families. Two of the most proactive labels with a genuine passion for the bands and music both from within their own rosters but also from the whole scene in general with genuine love and support going out to everyone involved. They’ve also tolerated our shit jokes and English sense of humour so far… time will tell… second album guys?”

Regardless what the future holds the here and now is glowing hot. Psychlona came from space to grace our earthly souls and make our mojo rise. It’s soon time to groove along to one of this year’s best desert stoner rock albums. Get psyched!

Mojo Rising will be out on CD and digital via Ripple Music and vinyl via Cursed Tongue Records in November.

CTR-014 Psychlona – ‘Mojo Rising’, vinyl official release date: November 30th, 2018

Psychlona is:
Phil Hey – Guitar & Vocals
Dave Wainfor – Guitar
Martyn Birchall – Bass
Scott Frankling – Drums

All tracks written and performed by Psychlona
Engineered and mixed by Dave Wainfor
Mastered by James Grover
Artwork by Kyrre Bjurling
Inner photo by Jez Sheard
Layout & Design by Michael Andresakis

Track listing:

Side A
1. Stone
2. Ride
3. Down In The Valley
4. Big River

Side B
5. Your God
6. Juju
7. Black Dog
8. Beakfoot

psychlona.bandcamp.com
http://www.facebook.com/Psychlona/
http://instagram.com/psychlona
http://cursedtonguerecords.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CursedTongueRecords
https://www.instagram.com/cursedtonguerecords
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://twitter.com/RippleMusic
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

Tags: , , , , , ,

Quarterly Review: CHRCH, Bongripper, King Chiefs, Bonnacons of Doom, Boar, June Bug, Tired Lord, Bert, Zen Bison, Wheel in the Sky

Posted in Reviews on July 16th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-CALIFORNIA-LANDSCAPE-Julian-Rix-1851-1903

You know the deal by now, I’m sure: 50 reviews this week between now and Friday, in batches of 10 per day. It’s an unholy amount of music, but those who really dig in always seem to find something cool within a Quarterly Review. Frankly, with this much to choose from, I’d certainly hope so. I’m not going to delay at all, except to say thanks in advance for coming along on this one. It’s got some core-heavy and some-not-really-core-heavy stuff all bundled next to each other, so yeah, your patience is appreciated. Okay. No time like the present. Let’s do it.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

CHRCH, Light Will Consume Us All

chrch light will consume us all

Yeah, yeah, yeah, the songs are long. Blah blah blah it’s heavy as whatever kind of construction equipment you could want to name. What’s even more striking about Los Angeles doomers CHRCH’s Neurot Recordings debut, Light Will Consume Us All, is the sense of atmosphere. The follow-up to 2015’s massively well-received Unanswered Hymns (review here) is comprised of three songs presented in descending time order from opener/longest track (immediate points) “Infinite” (20:41) to centerpiece “Portals” (14:50) and closer “Aether” (9:29) and it finds CHRCH refining the unremitting patience of their rollout, so that even when “Aether” explodes in its second half to charred blastbeating and abrasive screams, the ambience is still dense enough to feel it in one’s lungs. CHRCH keep up this level of progression and soon enough someone’s going to call them post-something or other. As it stands, their second album builds righteously on the achievements of their debut, and is a revelation in its bleakness.

CHRCH on Thee Facebooks

Neurot Recordings website

 

Bongripper, Terminal

bongripper terminal

Pressed up as ever in DIY fashion, Bongripper’s Terminal presents two gargantuan slabs – one per vinyl side – that only seem to highlight the strengths in the Chicago instrumentalists’ approach. The tones are huge, the grooves nodding, the impact of each kick drum forceful. Repetition is central, that feeling of aural mass and destructiveness, but neither is Terminal – comprised of “Slow” (25:11) and “Death” (18:15) – lacking a sense of atmosphere. After 21 minutes of grueling pummel, “Slow” devolves into droning layers of noise wash and quiet guitar to finish out, and “Death” seems to hold onto an echoing lead in its closing minutes that accomplishes much the same thing in broadening the atmosphere overall. I don’t know if the two songs were composed to fit together –the titles would hint yes – but they invariably do, and as “Death” unleashes a more insistent punch before turning to a post-YOB gallop, it reconfirms Bongripper’s worship-worthy place in the stoner doom milieu, how their sound can be so familiar in its threat and yet so much their own.

Bongripper on Bandcamp

Bongripper webstore

 

King Chiefs, Blue Sonnet

King Chiefs Blue Sonnet

Born as Chiefs ahead of their 2015 debut album, Tomorrow’s Over (review here), Arizona-based four-piece King Chiefs make their own first outing in the form of the easily-digestible desert rocker Blue Sonnet (on Roosevelt Row and Cursed Tongue Records), comprised of 10 tracks running just under 40 minutes of older-school laid back heavy, swinging easy on cuts like “Surely Never” and “Drifter” while still finding some Helmeted aggressive edge in the riffs of “Slug” and “Walk the Plank.” The overarching focus is on songwriting, however, and King Chiefs hone in cleverly on ‘90s-era desert rock’s post-grunge sensibility, so that their material seems ready for an alternative radio that no longer exists. Such as it is, they do just fine without, and hooks pervade the two-guitar outfit’s material in natural and memorable fashion all the way to five-and-a-half-minute closer “Shrine of the Beholder,” which embraces some broader textures without losing the structural focus that serves so well on the songs before it.

King Chiefs on Thee Facebooks

Roosevelt Row Records website

Cursed Tongue Records website

 

Bonnacons of Doom, Bonnacons of Doom

bonnacons of doom bonnacons of doom

Heavy psychedelic experimentalism pervades the Rocket Recordings-issued self-titled debut album from Liverpool collective Bonnacons of Doom, rife with tripout ritualism and exploration of sound as it is, all chasing light and getting freaky in any sense you want to read it. Five tracks, each a voyage unto itself – even the bass-fuzzy push of shortest cut “Rhizome” (5:55) is cosmos-bound – feed into the larger weirdness at play that culminates in the undulating grooves of “Plantae” (8:39), which is perhaps the most solidified cut in terms of choruses, verses, etc., but still a molten, headphone-worthy freakout that pushes the limits of psychedelia and still holds itself together. If the album was a to-do list, it would read as follows: “Eat mushrooms. Get naked. Dance around. Repeat.” Whether you do or don’t is ultimately up to you, but Bonnacons of Doom make a pretty convincing argument in favor, and I don’t generally consider myself much of a dancer. Among the most individualized psych debuts I’ve heard in a long time.

Bonnacons of Doom on Thee Facebooks

Rocket Recordings on Bandcamp

 

Boar, Poseidon

Boar Poseidon

Poseidon, at six songs and 39 minutes, is the second long-player from Finnish four-piece Boar. Released on vinyl with no shortage of backing — Lost Pilgrims Records, Dissonant Society, Impure Muzik, S.K.O.D., Rämekuukkeli-levyt – it hurls forth a High on Fire-informed vision of noise rock on its opening title-track only to take on a slower roll in the subsequent “Shahar’s Son” and dig into massive crashing on “12.” Using echo to add a sense of depth all the while, they scream in tradeoffs à la Akimbo and boogie in “Featherless” and seem to find a post-metallic moment on “Dark Skies” before closing with the alternately brooding and scathing “Totally out of This World,” the song sort of falling apart into the feedback and noise that ends the album. There’s a persistent sense of violence happening, but it’s as much inward as outward, and though some of Boar’s most effective moments are in that rawness, there’s something to be said for the contemplation at the outset of “Shahar’s Son” and “12” as well.

Boar on Thee Facebooks

Boar on Bandcamp

 

June Bug, A Thousand Days

June bug A Thousand Days

Seemingly unrestrained by genre, the Lille, France-based duo June BugJune on vocals and multiple instruments and Beryl on backing vocals and multiple instruments – dig into some post-punk nudge on early cut “Reasons” from their debut album, A Thousand Days (Atypeek Music) after the folkish melodies of opener “Now,” but whether it’s the fuzzy indie vibes of “Freaks” or the harmonies, electronics and acoustic guitar of “Let it Rest,” or the keyboard-handclaps, lower tones and poppish instrumental hook of centerpiece “Mama,” there’s plenty of variety throughout. What ties the differing vibes and richly nuanced approach together is the vocals, which are mostly subdued and at times hyper-stylized, but never seem to fail to keep melodicism as their central operating method. That remains true on the subdued “Does it Matter” and the beat-laden “Silenced” at the album’s finish and brings everything together with an overarching sense of joy that holds firm despite shifts in mood and approach, making the complete front-to-back listen as satisfying as it might seem all over the place.

June Bug on Thee Facebooks

Atypeek Music website

 

Tired Lord, Demo

tired lord demo

Released by the band last year, the four-song Demo by San Francisco outfit Tired Lord has been picked up for an official cassette issue through From Corners Unknown Records and will reportedly be the only release from the black metal/sludge genre-benders. Presumably that means they broke up, rather than just refuse to ever record again, though the latter possibility intrigues as well and would be meta-black metal. Spearheaded by guitarist Bryce Olson, Tired Lord effectively bring a thickness of tone to charred riffing, and a balance between screams and growls brings a cast of general extremity to the material. So I guess this is the part where I’m supposed to regret their dissolution and wish they’d do a proper release. Fair enough for the brutal chug in “Serpent’s Ascent” and the 7:51 closer “Astaroth,” which one wouldn’t mind hearing fleshed out from their current form. Failing that, one of the 30 tape copies pressed of Demo seems like decent consolation. At least while they’re there for the getting and before Tired Lord go gleefully into that black metal demo tape ether where so many seem to dwell.

From Corners Unknown Records on Thee Facebooks

From Corners Unknown Records website

 

BerT, Relics from Time Zero

bert relics from time zero

Lansing, Michigan, trio BerT – bassist Phil Clark and brothers Ryan (guitar) and Rael (drums) Andrews – broke up. They even put out a posthumous rare tracks release in 2017’s The Lost Toes (review here), so what’s left? Well, another album, of course. Intended as a sequel to the sci-fi narrative of the never-released long-player Return to the Electric Church, the five-track/35-minute Relics from Time Zero is unfinished, sans vocals where they might otherwise be, and basically a look at what might’ve been had the band not dissolved. For those prior-exposed to the once-prolific heavy rock bizarros, some of the proceedings will seem familiar: riffs are plentiful and fluid in their tempo changes from driving rock to droned-out stomp, and there seems to be about 1.5 of them in the four-minute “In the Cave of the Batqueen,” so but for the fact that it’s not done, I’d just about call it business as usual for BerT. I know they’re done and all, but I still wouldn’t mind hearing these songs with some lyrics, let alone the record this one was intended to follow-up. Either way, even defunct, BerT remain on their own wavelength.

BerT on Thee Facebooks

BerT on Bandcamp

 

Zen Bison, Krautrocker

zen bison krautrocker

Classic-style heavy rock riffing pervades opener “Blow My Mind” (5:47) and the subsequent “Backseat Lovers” (5:15) – somewhere between Stubb and Radio Moscow — on Zen Bison’s debut LP, Krautrocker, but as the five-track/42-minute self-release moves into the 11-minute title-track, guitarist/vocalist Philipp Ott, bassist Steffen Fischer and drummer Martin Konopka – joined by organist Hans Kirschner and percussionist Bobby Müller –move into deeper-grooving and more psychedelic fare. That turn suits the mostly-live-recorded outfit well on the longer instrumental piece, and that leads to a side B with the likewise-sans-vocals “La Madrugada” (9:56) and the closing cover of Don Nix’s blues rocker “Going Down” (10:24), jammed out at the end in its middle and end with quick return to the chorus between. There isn’t much on Krautrocker one might actually consider krautrock in the traditional sense, but there’s certainly plenty of rock to go around on the impressive and varied first offering from the Rostock trio.

Zen Bison on Thee Facebooks

Zen Bison on Bandcamp

 

Wheel in the Sky, Beyond the Pale

wheel in the sky beyond the pale

From opener “Rivers of Dust” onward, Wheel in the Sky’s second album, Beyond the Pale (on The Sign Records), proffers classy and classic digs, informed by a heavy ‘70s uptempo spirit on its title-track and moving into more complex volume and arrangement shifts in “Burn Babylon Burn” (video premiere here) and a poppy, goth-informed hook on “The Only Dead Girl in the City,” all the while held together through a quality of songwriting that even the band’s 2015 debut, Heading for the Night (review here), seemed to hint toward. It’s a mover, to be sure, but Wheel in the Sky execute their material with poise and a sense of clear intention, and no matter where they seem to go, their tonality and natural production assures the listener has an easy time tagging along. Might be a sleeper for some, but there are going to be people who really, really dig this album, and I’ve got no argument with them.

Wheel in the Sky on Thee Facebooks

The Sign Records website

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,