Borracho to Release Splitting Sky LP Reissue in May on Cursed Tongue Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 7th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

borracho splitting sky vinyl

About a week ago, the news came through that Washington D.C. heavy rockers Borracho had a reissue in the works through Cursed Tongue Records but that the label wasn’t going to reveal which one until it got a certain amount of showoff vinyl pics via the social medias with a hashtag “CTRBorrachoChallenge.” Guess they hit the mark, because today the label has unveiled that it’s the band’s 2011 debut, Splitting Sky (review here), that will see new life on LP this Spring. A May release is expected.

Hard to believe it’s been seven years since Splitting Sky actually came out, even in light of all that Borracho have accomplished in the time since. The album has actually been on vinyl before — No Balls Records out of Germany did a limited run — but I’d be curious to hear if the new remaster from Tony Reed does anything to the balance of the mix, which always seemed to favor the vocals of Noah Greenberg, who left the band before their next reord came out, at the forefront over the riffs.

Either way, Borracho have obviously made an awful lot of new friends since the days of the original Splitting Sky release, so for them and for collectors alike, this seems like another solid pickup from Cursed Tongue, who sent the following announcement along the PR wire:

borracho cursed tongue

CTR-008: Borracho – ‘Splitting Sky’ 2018 reissue, newly remastered and with original artwork, the way it has always been intended to look.

Splitting Sky was initially released on CD/digital back in 2011. A limited run vinyl pressing was also made, but copies have long sold out since and second hand prices have fetched stupid prices. Borracho are full of good momentum and with last years critically acclaimed 3rd full length ‘Atacama’ (Kozmik Artifactz) and the recent released compilation album of singles entitled ‘Riffography’ the band has a lot going on. The winds are blowing in the band’s favor and there’s no better time than now to reissue this great desert stoner rock album that by some critics and fans alike already has been heralded as a new-classic.

Cursed Tongue Records is inclined to give ‘Splitting Sky’ a well deserved makeover, brushing of all the cobwebs and breed new life into the furrows of this hard-hitting rock. The vinyl re-issue is entirely newly remastered for optimal vinyl playback by no other than Tony Reed and it’s also featuring the original artwork with new layout and design. Splitting Sky will thus yet again be available for the vinyl fans, but this time around the way it was initially intended to look and sound while bearing all the hallmarks of high quality and attention to detail that a Cursed Tongue Records release has come to offer.

BANDCAMP (stream/download): http://borracho.bandcamp.com/album/splitting-sky

BIO:
Borracho is a three piece heavy rock band from Washington, DC. In the five years since releasing their 2011 debut Splitting Sky, they have become a staple of the Mid-Atlantic — and US — stoner rock scene. 2013’s follow up Oculus highlighted a band in metamorphosis, moving the band forward sonically with a leaner lineup, but continuing their emphasis on song construction and memorable melodies. With a substantial offering in Ripple Music’s 2015 inaugural Second Coming of Heavy, Chapter One, the band showed their continued commitment to the almighty riff, and plenty of variety in their approach, even within only 22 minutes of scathing rock.

Along with their two LPs, Borracho has dropped a half-dozen limited edition vinyl singles and split 7”s to satisfy fans and collectors around the globe. The band has worked with labels from the US, Spain, Germany, and Japan to get their music to the masses, and has teamed up with similar acts Cortez, Geezer, and Eggnogg — even their own former band Adam West — on split releases. The past two years has pushed Borracho to both Europe and the west coast of the United States to preach their gospel of low and heavy grooves.

With the 2016 release of their third LP Atacama, the band is primed for a larger audience, with a totally organic and diverse collection of heavy anthems to get people up onto their feet and raising their fists in a glorious Hallelujah.

2018 sees the Borracho’s 2011 debut album reissued on vinyl via Cursed Tongue Records and furthermore the band has also started working on their 4th full length album. So the band might be seasoned but the three gringos behind the stearing wheel are far from done, quite opposite they seem to age in style and class, remaining everso evident and vibrant. Only a few things in life are for certain; one of them is that Borracho came to play heavy-AF riffs, rock-out and have a good time – and they never left!

CTR-008, Borracho – ‘Splitting Sky’, official release date: May 2018
Pre-orders start in April.

Borracho is:
Steve Fisher – Lead Guitar & Vocals
Tim Martin – Bass
Mario Trubiano – Drums

(Noah Greenberg handled vocal duties on Splitting Sky, but afterwards he left the band and moved abroad.)

Produced, recorded and mixed by Frank Marchand in Studio A at Airshow Mastering, Takoma Park, Maryland in March 2011. Mastered for vinyl by Tony Reed of HeavyHead Recording Co. All words and music by Borracho. © 2011 Repetitive Heavy Grooves Music. Band photography by Margaret Allen. Cover concept, layout and design by Tim Martin Designs, Washington, D.C. Additional design and artwork for this vinyl edition by Michael Andresakis.

Track listing:

Side A
1. Redemption
2. Concentric Circles
3. Bloodsucker
4. Grab The Reins

Side B
5. All In Play
6. Never Get It Right
7. Grinder

http://borrachomusic.com
https://www.facebook.com/BorrachoDC/
https://borracho.bandcamp.com

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

Borracho, Splitting Sky (2011)

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Borracho to Release LP on Cursed Tongue Records — But Which One???

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

Here’s a fun one: We know that D.C. heavy groovers Borracho recently issued their Riffography (review here) collection spanning their 10 years together front to back with assorted unreleased or at very least rarer-than-not tracks. That came out through Ripple Music. Their preceding 2016 full-length, Atacama (review here), came out via Kozmik Artifactz, where 2013’s Oculus (review here) and their 2011 debut, Splitting Sky (review here), landed through Strange Magic Records and No Balls Records, respectively.

Now. One of these LP offerings has been picked up for a vinyl release by Cursed Tongue Records, but the label isn’t quite ready to say which one. What they’re doing instead is hosting an Instagram challenge where you put your favorite Borracho platter on your turntable, snap a picture of it on your fancy phone, and post it up on Instagram with the hashtag “CTRBorrachoChallenge.”

As soon as they get to 30 posts, Cursed Tongue will reveal which album it’s releasing. See? I told you it was a fun one.

Details follow:

borracho cursed tongue

-|- CTR-BORRACHO CHALLENGE -|-

CTR has just announced the signing of mighty Borracho out of DC, US for impending vinyl release. However, before we reveal what album we are talking about you will have to accept a little challenge!

The idea is to get many release pictures posted all around Instagram in order to draw attention toward the Borracho. They have released many things on vinyl along the years; so many people have them in their collection; they just need to dust them off and blast them on their turntable!!!

Dust off one of your Borracho vinyl copies and post a picture of it with the following hashtag #CTRBorrachoChallenge

Once we get 30 posts, we will unveil the album details \,,/

Meanwhile, you can take all the guesses you want

#CursedTongueRecords #CTR #Borracho #BorrachoBand

Borracho is:
Steve Fisher – Guitar, Vocals
Tim Martin – Bass
Mario Trubiano – Drums

http://borrachomusic.com
https://www.facebook.com/BorrachoDC/
https://borracho.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/CursedTongueRecords/
https://www.instagram.com/cursedtongue
http://cursedtonguerecords.bigcartel.com/

Borracho, Riffography (2017)

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Review & Track Premiere: Wolftooth, Wolftooth

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on January 16th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

wolftooth wolftooth

[Click play above to stream ‘Frost Lord’ from Wolftooth’s self-titled debut. Album is out Jan. 19 digitally on Cursed Tongue Records with vinyl to follow in May and CD and tape due March 9 via Blackseed Records.]

The bite force of a large wolf has been said to exceed 1,000 pounds of pressure, making it particularly efficient at crushing bones of prey. Their fangs can grow to an inch in length. Thus, for the sharpness of their execution and the thrust behind it, one can only consider Indiana heavy rockers Wolftooth aptly named. The double-guitar Hoosier four-piece make their debut via Blackseed Records and Cursed Tongue Records with a self-titled eight-tracker that from the very beginnings of opener “Blackbirds Call” engages the overarching question of where heavy rock stops and heavy metal begins; a semi-aggro push punctuated by the insistent chug of guitarists Chris Sullivan (also vocals) and Jeff Cole and the popping snare of drummer Johnny Harrod that’s given due heft by bassist Terry McDaniel.

Informed somewhat in its melodic reach by modern progressive metal via the likes of a less angular Baroness, the mid-tempo swing of “Aegaeon” finds vocals layered and manipulated in a manner that recalls Fireball Ministry‘s compressed style, and the penultimate “Forged in Fire,” though it embarks on a gallop just past its halfway point, reaffirms that notion early in its going, as does the harmony-laced closer “Season of the Witch.” A persistent use of epic themes in cuts like “Sword of My Father,” “White Mountain,” “Frost Lord” — unless they just really love cocaine, which given the cohesiveness of their sound seems less likely, but I suppose isn’t impossible — and some of the push in “White Mountain,” or “The Huntress” and “Blackbirds Call” could be said to be culled from High on Fire, but like the other potential points of influence or at least sonic congruity noted above, as well as the classic-style Thin Lizzy stomp that begins “Sword of My Father,” these are filtered through the band’s own modus of expression and come through as their own.

Wolftooth, in other words, make an impression.

That they’d do so isn’t necessarily a surprise. Very quickly, the tastes of Blackseed and Cursed Tongue have each become a trustworthy factor as regards the releases the imprints choose to stand behind, and the 42 minutes of Wolftooth‘s Wolftooth acquit themselves well in terms of the obvious conscious thought put into their song structures and melodic arrangements. Also the shortest track at 3:55, “Sword of My Father” might also have the album’s most resonant hook, but it’s one of many, and as the forward-charging slicer “Frost Lord” turns just before three minutes in to its metallo-chugging mosh part — at least one of these guitarists came of age amid the rise of metalcore near the turn of the century — there’s certainly a memorable moment being captured. Perhaps what’s most striking overall about the album, though, is how fluidly Wolftooth tie these ideas together into a coherent entirety.

wolftooth

No question it’s a collection of songs as opposed to a singular work, but the band split the tracklist neatly in half to bring the two sides of their debut long-player to bear with a marked flow from front to back, and aside from being impressively consistent in tone across its span, in the expanding melodies of “The Huntress” and “Season of the Witch” — which, it should be noted, does not seem to be a Donovan cover — one can nonetheless hear how much effort the group has put into crafting this material, and that very much extends to the production contribution of Jeremy Lovins at LedFields Studio in Connorsville, IN. Produced in conjunction with the band and assisted in engineering by Skylar Nichols, the clarity of Wolftooth‘s underlying aesthetic and sonic ideas comes that much more to fruition because, one senses, not just of the past experience of members in other acts, but because of the partnership between band and studio, the two sides working in conjunction toward the same ends.

All of this, of course, feeds into the notion of Wolftooth, as a debut album, being particularly noteworthy in its sheer got-itself-together-ness. That’s a somewhat patronizing cliche to use, but it’s a striking appeal all the same, and further evidenced by the balanced nature with which Wolftooth approach what for them is a thin line between rock and metal and prove themselves able to follow the whims of their songwriting to one side of it or the other. To wit, the pairing of “Frost Lord” and “The Huntress” or “White Mountain” coming out of “Sword of My Father” to cap side A. This dynamic, bolstered by the steadiness in the production itself, gives the album its sense of range, and Sullivan‘s melodic vocal approach assures that as they recount tales of witches, broadswords and other epic/fantasy thematics, they neither become overly dramatic nor chestbeatingly dudely in their delivery, even as “Frost Lord” dips into its triplet-gallop chugging breakdown.

It should be noted that Wolftooth caps with its three longest tracks in “The Huntress,” “Forged in Fire” and “Season of the Witch,” which leads one to wonder if perhaps the band aren’t signaling intentions toward even grander fare their next time out. Would be fair enough. They’re still able to hone a memorable chorus into these longer slabs, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they expanded the interweaving aspects of the two guitars as they moved forward and wound up with longer tracks as a result, although the more immediate impact of “Sword of My Father” here is a factor to consider. Whichever way they go, Wolftooth‘s forward potential is writ large throughout this first offering, and that it drives one toward such speculation for avenues of their future progression should be taken as a sign of how likely that progression seems to take place in general, regardless of its ultimate direction.

Wolftooth on Bandcamp

Wolftooth on Thee Facebooks

Wolftooth on Instagram

Cursed Tongue Records on Thee Facebooks

Cursed Tongue Records on Instagram

Cursed Tongue Records webstore

Blackseed Records on Thee Facebooks

Blackseed Records on Bandcamp

Blackseed Records website

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Mephistofeles Sign to Cursed Tongue Records; I’m Heroin LP Due in 2018

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 24th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

mephistofeles

Hope you’ve been doing your noddercizing, because Argentinian three-piece Mephistofeles don’t stop once they get going, and otherwise you might pull something in your neck. The trio have signed to Cursed Tongue Records following a booming response to their second long-player, I’m Heroin — or, if you’d prefer it more spacious: ( ( ( I ‘ M H E R O I N ) ) ) — and have been confirmed for a 2018 vinyl release through the label. If you’re asking yourself, “Gee, wasn’t it just like last week that Cursed Tongue announced they’d signed somebody?” Yeah, it was. That’s how you know a label is up and coming.

What I’m most enjoying about this bevvy of pickups from the imprint thus far, however, is a diversity of sound. To wit, Mephistofeles are post-Electric Wizard scumriffers of the highest order, dropping out, nodding off, reveling in grainy porn and a generally addled haze. Hey, it’s an aesthetic. Deeply problematic on a number of levels, but an aesthetic nonetheless. Plus, Tony Reed did the mastering! That’s always a win.

As is Cursed Tongue‘s wont, they’ve got a full announcement with background and so forth to get listeners introduced, and if you haven’t heard it yet, you can stream the seven-tracker in its entirety at the bottom of this post. I’m digging the stomp in “Trash Lord,” personally, but you’ll no doubt find your own path through the mire.

Fog on:

mephistofeles i'm heroin

MEPHISTOFELES SIGNS TO CURSED TONGUE RECORDS TO UNLEASH THE “CTR-666”

( ( ( I ‘ M H E R O I N ) ) ) SEES A WORLD WIDE RELEASE ON VINYL IN SPRING 2018

This time we at Cursed Tongue Records have gotten our hands stained by the vilest filth this side of the Andes. It is with the utmost thrill we can announce the inclusion of Mephistofeles to the CTR family. We are very happy to welcome this black sheep of doom and its hate-infused debauchery extravaganza. Cursed Tongue Records look forward to drop a thick slab of wax right in the face of a festering vinyl collecting horde of sonic-drug-hungering stoner heads.

Based in Paraná, Entre Ríos, Argentina since mid-2015 Mephistofeles compels a three piece power group that worships an early seventies prototype of doom metal with tints of psychedelia. Mephistofeles’ music goes hand in hand with graphics that tend to be trashy, including elements from sexual abuse, nazi exploitation and dreary dark scenarios.

The band fulfilled its faith when releasing the debut album called “Whore” (2016), which prompted a ton of public attention during this past year, achieving a little well known place in the international underground stoner music scene. Moving away from the cleaner production on Whore, they have managed to unveil the true sleazy sound on “( ( ( I ‘ M H E R O I N ) ) )”, the kind of dirty and sloppy sound that this record needed to attain. In other words, the band arrive at what they like to call “The true sound of hate”. A sound that most bands nowadays have forgotten how to achieve.

“( ( ( I ‘ M H E R O I N ) ) )” was straight out recorded in just one session during Argentinian summer of 2017 and mixed during the entirety of the following winter. The record does not go that much further from the “Whore” equation, but definitely has an evolution in the sound and brew of the songs. On the new record the compositions have a wider dynamic that take the listener from: heavy acid repetitive riffing nightmares into another different stage of electricness with songs as “The Rogue” and ‘Addicted To Satan’. “( ( ( I ‘ M H E R O I N ) ) )” sees the band branch out and experiment even further with the song compositions, extending the jams to give them time to properly unfold resulting in the ultimative mind-fuck. The album closes with ‘Into The Night’; a truly psyche-eroding extemporary spaced-out excursion to the brain’s deepest abyss and as the song progresses it slowly starts to dissapear between the trees of the darkest forests that Transylvania has to offer. There’s no no hope of surviving this Hendrixian heroin spree!

“( ( ( I ‘ M H E R O I N ) ) )” has already garnered some significant notion by some of the scene’s heavy weight icons and rightfully so as their sophomore album expands Mephistofeles’ expression on several levels; the production is sleazier, the instrumentation and play is markedly enhanced, the lyrics and graphic content more bleak, the hate is untamed. There’s no doubt that Mephistofeles didn’t come here to win your heart, they are here to corrupt your mind and drain your soul. For what’s left after all when it’s over…

The band responds to the commotion by stating:

“We are really happy to be experimenting this kind of stuff right now with our music. We are kids in our early 20’s, we can’t ask for anything more. We believe that there’s just death afterwards in our future.”

The new album will see ligt of day on limited heavy weight vinyl via Cursed Tongue Records in the spring of 2018 sporting a wide array of truly x-rated graphical content pushing the borders of what’s widely accepted. Tongue in cheek – literally.

CTR-666, Mephistofeles – “( ( ( I ‘ M H E R O I N ) ) )”, official release date: 2018

Mephistofeles is:
Ismael Dimenza on bass,
Gabriel Ravera on guitar and vocals,
Iván Sachar on drums

Julián Millen on general mixing
Enrique Lopez as mixing assistant
Aitor Aramberry as mixing assistant & digital mastering
Mastering for optimal vinyl playback by Tony Reed
Artwork, layout & design by Wizard Of Meth

http://mephistofeles.bandcamp.com/
http://www.facebook.com/mephistofelesdrone/
http://instagram.com/fuckoffhippieposers

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

Mephistoeles, I’m Heroin (2017)

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Wolftooth Sign to Cursed Tongue Records; Debut LP out in 2018

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 17th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

wolftooth

Classic metal and heavy rock crash headfirst in Wolftooth‘s ‘The Huntress,’ which is just one of the eight tracks on the band’s self-titled debut LP that makes it easy to understand what Cursed Tongue Records was thinking in signing the four-piece to release the album on vinyl. They were thinking it ruled. I’m enjoying how hard it’s becoming to argue with their taste, and as Wolftooth join choice snags like Sumokem, Earth WitchNeon WarshipDevil’s WitchesGreen Yeti and Mental Tremors, a significant reliability factor is coming together. Trust is a good thing. Trust that someone is going to back cool riffs is even better.

You can hear “The Huntress” as well as two other cuts from Wolftooth‘s Wolftooth now via the band’s Bandcamp, streaming at the bottom of this post. The LP itself will arrive early next year with preorders up sometime between now and then. In the meanwhile, here’s the announcement from Cursed Tongue to make the alliance official:

wolftooth cursed tongue

WOLFTOOTH SIGNS TO CURSED TONGUE RECORDS FOR WORLD WIDE RELEASE OF THEIR DEBUT FULL LENGTH ALBUM.

We are extremely happy to announce the rabid new signing from Cursed Tongue Records

Hailing from the Midwest via Richmond IN comes the “Stoner Metal Riff Worshipers” Wolftooth consisting of a pack of well seasoned musicians (all 20+ yr metal scene veterans) determined to raise the bar of the almighty riff. Wolftooth combines influences from the 70’s and early 80’s NWOBHM with Bay Area Thrash and doom laden riffery. Meanwhile the vocals soar over blues drenched solos that add a stoner sensibility to the Wolftooth sound.

Wolftooth, despite having just existed for a short period of time, have already released an EP of three songs on Bandcamp in August 2017 that secured them a place at #12 on the September edition of Doom Charts and general acclaim amidst reviewers across the heavy underground scene. It brings evidence of a band that’s aiming high and is willing to put the muscle and mind behind.

Some bands need a whole career to make an impression. Wolftooth only needed three tracks to impress on an epic scale and after listening to their EP we just instantly knew that this band are going places. So it is a natural thing to add Wolftooth to the Cursed Tongue Records roster as we feel the music the band purveys is an extension of our love for metal and rock. We are stoked to be putting thier debut full length album out in the first half of 2018. Official release date and preorder details to be revealed in due time.

Wolftooth hits hard with a unique blend of stoner, 90’s alternative rock, hintes of 80’s glory and some goddamned heavy riffs that makes this band worth your full attention. So lookout cause Wolftooth is on a mission to bring the “Power of the Riff” to the masses.

CTR-007, Wolftooth – ‘Wolftooth’, official release date: first half 2018

Wolftooth is:
Chris Sullivan – Guitar and Vocals
Jeff Cole – Guitar
Terry McDaniel Jr – Bass
Johnny Harrod – Drums

Recorded at Led Fields studio Connersvile IN
Engineered and mixed by Jeremy Lovins
Assistant Engineer: Skylar Nichols
Produced by Wolftooth and Jeremy Lovins
All music composed and arranged by Wolftooth
*Keyboard arrangements by Jeremy Lovins

Track listing:
Side A
1. Blackbirds Call
2. Aegaeon
3. Sword Of My Father
4. White Mountain

Side B
5. Frost Lord
6. The Huntress
7. Season Of The Witch
8. Forged In Fire

http://wolftooth.bandcamp.com/releases
http://www.facebook.com/wolftoothmetal/
https://www.instagram.com/wolftooth_metal/
https://www.facebook.com/CursedTongueRecords/
https://www.instagram.com/cursedtongue
http://cursedtonguerecords.bigcartel.com/

Wolftooth, Wolftooth EP (2017)

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Sumokem Premiere “Ogama” from The Guardian of Yosemite; Announce Signing to Cursed Tongue Records

Posted in audiObelisk, Whathaveyou on October 4th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

SUMOKEM

This Friday, Little Rock, Arkansas, sludge-doomers celebrate the release of their sophomore full-length, The Guardian of Yosemite, at a hometown show at The Rev Room with Napalm Christ, Auric and Headcold. Before they even get there, however, the four-piece announce today that they’ve inked a deal for a vinyl issue for the album through Cursed Tongue Records. Booking your next release before the first release party? I think once you get a load of the track “Ogama” below, you might come to understand how that kind of thing can happen.

Sumokem make short work of a number of different genre barriers throughout the seven-song offering — the digital version of which pushes into eight tracks/61 minutes when one adds the bonus cover of Thin Lizzy’s “Emerald” — and from opener “Attack of the Mammoth,” there’s little between epic metal, doom and sludge that isn’t in their grasp. Grooves unfold fluidly from the outset, and as “Warning” is the shortest inclusion at just under seven minutes, there’s plenty of time for them to do so. CT from Rwake steps in for a guest spot on “War Pipe / Rite of the Calumet,” which adds bite and allows “Ogama” to earn its place as the centerpiece of the album proper with its gracefully progressive rollout offering a melodic highlight even with a peaceful stretch between onslaughts still to come in “Tisayac,” a soaring crescendo of lead guitar in “Mescalito / Meeting of the Half Moon” and a resolved post-Pallbearer expressiveness in 10-minute closer “Nantucket.” There are twists and turns a-plenty even before Sumokem get around to thickening up a classic Phil Lynott progression, and though one wonders how they might all fit on a 12″ platter, there’s no doubt as to the worthiness of the cause.

Speaking of: next Spring has been set as the ballpark release date for Cursed Tongue‘s vinyl. The label sent over the following announcement about picking up the band and provided further background, which you can see below, as well as the cover art by Adam Burke, track and lineup info, and links to the release show’s event page and more besides — as well of course as the premiere of “Ogama” itself, which I hope you enjoy.

So yeah. Enjoy:

sumokem-the-guardian-of-yosemite

SUMOKEM SIGNS TO CURSED TONGUE RECORDS FOR WORLD WIDE RELEASE OF ‘THE GUARDIAN OF YOSEMITE’

It’s with utmost pleasure that we can reveal the signing of Little Rock, Arkansas progressive sludge/doom rock titans in SUMOKEM. Follower of Cursed Tongue Records will find it of little surprise to see this collaboration as we hold this band in really high regard and are long time fans of this unique and hard hitting doom metal ensemble. Ever since the digital release of The Madness Of Lung Shen Ti: Vol 1 back in early 2015 we have been keeping a watchful eye out for this band as we new instantly that they would have the format and ideas to take it far and high.

This is exactly what SUMOKEM have done with The Guardian Of Yosemite, that in our opinion arm-wrestles with all the worn-out, tried-to-death, conformist monotony that most modern doom and stoner releases these days suffer from. SUMOKEM serve up seven mammoth sized tracks drawing from influences ranging from sludge rock, death metal, classic doom, progressive metal and grunge. How is that even possible you may ask, well it’s been quite some time since we have laid ears to such a vast and complex album both musically and emotionally. Especially emotions and feelings is something that The Guardian Of Yosemite is strong on – you can literally feel the story told on this conceptual album.

We recommend The Guardian of Yosemite to all stoner and doom heads that want their music to stand out from the normal and who are willing to invest time in a more demanding album that in return will pay you back with hours and hours of unwaning musical bliss. Fans of Pallbearer, Khemmis and Yob will find plenty to enjoy here, but rest a sure this band can not be confined within the realm of these comparisons.

SUMOKEM was founded by vocalist/rhythm guitarist Jacob Sawrie in January of 2013, with Josh Ingram (lead guitar) and Drew Skarda (drums), later adding Alan Wells (Shitfire, Napalm Christ) on bass guitar.

SUMOKEM have released a digital single as part of the Mutants of the Monster/Handshake Inc/Alternative Tentacles 2013/2014 Compilation, as well The Madness of Lu Shen Ti: Vol. 1 EP on Handshake, Inc, and received attention from Steel for Brains, Meat Mead & Metal, and Gaffa Magazine (Sweden).

Founding lead guitarist Josh Ingram passed away on May 9, 2015. Shortly after, SUMOKEM parted ways with Alan Wells. In June 2015, Tyler Weaver and Dustin Weddle (Snakedriver/Seahag) joined the band, and SUOMEKM are now ready to drop their first full length, The Guardian of Yosemite, on the unprepared World. The album is set to release digitally and on CD October 6th, 2017 with a full blown 2LP vinyl worldwide release slated for early spring 2018 via Cursed Tongue Records.

CTR-006, SUMOKEM – The Guardian Of Yosemite, official release date: Spring 2018

The Guardian of Yosemite is dedicated to Josh Ingram.

SUMOKEM is:
Jacob Sawrie – Rhythm/Vox
Drew Skarda – Percussion
Tyler Weaver – Lead
Dustin Weddle – Bass

Engineered/Mixed by Mark Colbert at Fellowship Hall Sound and Capitol View Studios
Mastered by Brad Boatright at AUDIOSIEGE
Cover art by Adam Burke
Guest vocals on War Pipe by C.T. (Rwake)
Music and Lyrics by Sawrie
All songs arranged by SUMOKEM

Track listing:
1. Attack of the Mammoth
2. Warning
3. War Pipe/Rite of the Calumet
4. Ogama
5. Tisayac
6. Mescalito/Meeting of the Half-Moon
7. Nantucket

https://www.facebook.com/events/124466121507962/
https://sumokem.bandcamp.com/album/the-guardian-of-yosemite
https://www.facebook.com/SUMOKEM/
https://www.facebook.com/CursedTongueRecords/
https://www.instagram.com/cursedtongue
http://cursedtonguerecords.bigcartel.com/

Sumokem, “Ogama” official premiere

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Quarterly Review: Wucan, Lucifer in the Sky with Diamonds, Thera Roya, Ojos Rojos, Ett Rop På Hjälp, BongCauldron, Nomadic Rituals, Mental Tremors, Gin Lady, Swanmay

Posted in Reviews on September 29th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

the obelisk quarterly review

Round five of the Fall 2017 Quarterly Review begins now. After dealing with the technical issues this week and changing hosts and having the site down for – well, as I write this, it’s still down, so I don’t really have a finished count yet, though obviously by the time you’re reading it it’ll be back up – yeah, it’s made putting together a batch of 10 reviews a day seem like a breeze. “Oh, you mean you’re only writing 10 reviews today? Well now this is happening.” That kind of thing. Didn’t I say something earlier this week about a piano falling on my head? Prescient.

Plan is to finish the QR on Monday and then get back to what passes for normalcy around here. Still plenty of good stuff to come between now and then though, so let’s dive in.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Wucan, Reap the Storm

wucan reap the storm

Bilingual heavy blues rockers Wucan offer their second full-length, Reap the Storm, through MIG Music, and with it showcase a stunning range of songwriting. The album is set up as a 2LP and runs eight songs/73 minutes from the Dresden, Germany, four-piece of vocalist Francis Tobolsky (also flute, guitar, theremin, sitar and percussion), guitarist/keyboardist Tim George, bassist Patrik Dröge and drummer Philip Knöfel, and from the expansive jamming of 10-minute opener “Wie Die Welt Sich Dreht,” it solidifies into the classic-prog-meets-heavy-boogie of “Ebb and Flute/The Eternal Groove” and nestles into driving semi-psychedelic rock on “Out of Sight out of Mind” to lead the charge on a side B marked out by the organ in “I’m Gonna Leave You,” the interplay of trippy/soulful vocals and flute on “The Rat Catcher” and the quiet, German-language post-Zeppelin acoustic folk of “Falkenlied.” Okay. Already your head’s spinning. Then Wucan dive into “Aging Ten Years in Two Seconds” and “Cosmic Guilt,” which together comprise the second of the two LPs, the former running 21:05 and the latter 18:04, and basically between them represent another album entirely, tying all of the elements previously listed together into one richly complex, progressive-but-still-warm delivery. Their breadth is met by an overarching organic feel – the flute and Tobolsky’s vocals help greatly in this – and though the results are somewhat unmanageable, Wucan remain impressively cohesive throughout the many twists and turns.

Wucan on Thee Facebooks

MIG Music website

 

Lucifer in the Sky with Diamonds, Silent Echo

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The new single “Silent Echo” is an awaited return from Moscow progressive heavy rockers Lucifer in the Sky with Diamonds, who showed up with an encouraging debut, The Shining One (review here), in 2014. In the rhythmic push and balance of melody and hook, “Silent Echo” reaffirms the appeal of that album and presses it forward, and the band – now comprised of guitarist/bassist/vocalist Oleg Sakharov, guitarist Sergey Starykh, drummer Ramis Cervantes and backing vocalist Alexey Fedotov – hold fast to the underlying proggy sensibilities that fall so well in line with the crispness of their production and the clarity of intent in their songcraft. If they were German or Swedish, they’d already be signed. After three years, a new album would be welcome, but perhaps “Silent Echo” is a harbinger of things to come, and if indeed the six-minute track is all we’re getting for now, it’s got resonance enough behind it to last at least for a while. Hard to hear it though and not want more from these guys.

Lucifer in the Sky with Diamonds on Thee Facebooks

Lucifer in the Sky with Diamonds on Bandcamp

 

Thera Roya, Masterful Universe

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Tracked a year ago in North Carolina, Thera Roya’s Masterful Universe two-songer follows behind their earlier-2017 debut long-player, Stone and Skin (review here), and continues their headfirst dive into noise-laden riotousness across the seven-minute “Static Transmission” (I’m sorry, but are those monkey sounds around the three-minute mark?) and five-minute “Confused Population,” which starts out with a sample of the bomb-riding end sequence of Dr. Strangelove, because I guess the Brooklyn/NJ trio of drummer/vocalist Ryan Smith, guitarist Christopher Eustaquio and bassist Jonny Cohn are feeling topical. Fair enough. That song pushes into cleaner vocals, almost drone-chants, for a particularly experimental feel, and keeps samples as a running theme (at least until the blackened cave-echo screams at the end), where “Static Transmission” is more scathingly aggressive at its core, but in both tracks, the message of Thera Roya getting weirder and weirder comes through clearly, and that only works to their benefit on this short but consuming offering. Run with it, dudes.

Thera Roya on Thee Facebooks

Thera Roya on Bandcamp

 

Ojos Rojos, Sons of Love and Death

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It’s been seven years since California-based heavy psych rockers Ojos Rojos made their debut with the full-length Disappear (review here), but you’d hardly know it from the vibrancy of their new five-song/26-minute Sons of Love and Death EP, which from its opening title-track – also the longest here (immediate points) – through the rightly spacious “Atmosphere” and smoothly rolling centerpiece “Say Goodbye” affects desert-hued shoegaze engagement that asks little of the listener more than to drift along with its easy path. “A Hole Inside” (pun sense tingling) brings especially satisfying fuzz in the guitar and a swirling couple leads to complement like stars overhead, and closer “So Free” doesn’t at all let the fact that it’s so darn laid back let it stop it from strutting its start-stop groove with such swagger. All told, Sons of Love and Death is a work of drippingly lysergic vibe, reminiscent of Dead Meadow at their most languid, but it comes across neither as staid nor redundant. Be it in the rhythmic push of “Atmosphere” or the final crashes of “So Free,” Ojos Rojos find the means to portray an active ecosystem in something that, from the surface, seems still and peaceful.

Ojos Rojos on Thee Facebooks

Ojos Rojos on Bandcamp

 

Ett Rop På Hjälp, Sans och Balans

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Ett Rop På Hjälp, quite simply, deserve a higher profile than they’ve got for their second album, Sans och Balans. The Gothenburg natives are a half-decade removed from their 2012 debut, Hur Svårt Kan Det Vara? (review here), on Transubstans, and the new collection is a more than worthy follow-up, offering classic-style boogie rollout on cuts like “En Djavuls Falla” and the later solo work on “Blanka Eftermiddagen,” while “Defenestration” (the only English title present, though it’s still sung in Swedish), highlights organ/keys alongside its low end depth and catchy movement, shifting at its midpoint to an instrumental jam that carries it into the bluesy build and harmonies of “Snomannen.” The penultimate “Leker Med Karlek” is particularly heavy ‘70s, but skirts the trap of sounding like Graveyard, Witchcraft or most others of that vintage ilk, and the finish in “Slutat Tro” prefaces its payoff with a subtle heft that comes to the fore late, manifesting a proto-doom working well to contrast the sweetness of the earlier vocal melody. It may be harder for those who don’t speak Swedish to grasp the verses and howling chorus of “Folkhemsdesperado” and the other inclusions here, but Sans och Balans is nothing if not worth that effort and clearly a record that earns more attention than it’s getting.

Ett Rop På Hjälp on Thee Facebooks

Sans och Balans on Spotify

 

BongCauldron, Binge

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Leeds trio BongCauldron have been kicking around the UK’s fertile heavy underground for the last five-plus years since their self-titled EP, issuing a series of shorter releases and splits and gradually readying themselves for a larger attack. That arrives as their eight-song/40-minute debut full-length, Binge, which sludge-bludgeons (yes, it sludgeons) its listener into submission with thickened nod, growls and an attitude that’s best represented perhaps in the title of second cut “Bury Your Axe in the Crania of Lesser Men.” Yeah, it’s like that. “68” and closer “Yorkshire Born” offer a Motörhead/High on Fire-style gallop, but the larger impression Binge makes comes from the pairing of the title-track and “Bigfoot Reigns” in the middle of the album. These two longest tracks, back to back, pummel their viscous onslaught, and even when the latter swaps out its faster first half for the massive slowdown of its second, its shift is purely from one extreme to the other. Feels like it’s been a while in the making, and maybe it has, but BongCauldron’s first long-player has nastiness a-plenty to make up for any and all lost time.

BongCauldron on Thee Facebooks

APF Records on Thee Facebooks

 

Nomadic Rituals, Marking the Day

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Marking the Day builds from minimalist drone over the first couple minutes of “From Nothing” into a maddeningly heavy, grueling, hour-long slog of noise-soaked and extremist post-sludge. It is the second album from Belfast, Northern Ireland, three-piece Nomadic Rituals, and its cosmically-themed lumber is utterly vicious as it plays out across six tracks, the shortest of which, “Expansion,” is just under eight minutes long. Over the course of this creation-to-destruction journey, guitarist/vocalist Peter Hunter, bassist/vocalist Craig Carson and drummer Mark Smyth (all three also contribute noise and/or synth) take listeners “From Nothing” and leave them “Face Down in the Sea of Oblivion,” and it’s that 14-minute finale and specifically the tumultuous, pushed-even-further apex thereof, that is intended to capture the grand undoing of everything. One imagines when the end comes it won’t actually sound quite so glorious, but an interpretive representation, Nomadic Rituals give brutal portrayal that seems to fit the onslaught of chaos, and the final amp hum reminds that every ending is likewise a new beginning, even one so mammoth and consuming as this.

Nomadic Rituals on Thee Facebooks

Nomadic Rituals on Bandcamp

 

Mental Tremors, Mental Tremors

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A duo who manage to sound like a full band on a studio album is nothing new at this point, between layering and tonal heft and whatever else might be at play in a given act’s aesthetic. Fortunately, Melbourne two-piece Mental Tremors don’t need to rely on novelty. In the fuzz of songs like “Bastard Son” and “Violently” – that’s a riff you should hear – their self-titled debut long-player offers legit chops in craft and performance, yes, sounding full, but still natural as it makes its way through the weirdo-psych nod of the six-minute “Patient Man,” solidifying as it goes, and seeming to turn the classic LP dynamic of straightforward A and more expansive B sides on its head as it rounds out with “Hunters” and “The Fevering,” individualizing catchy, post-Queens of the Stone Age impulses and hairy riff-led raucousness. Initially self-released earlier this year, Mental Tremors was picked up for a vinyl pressing by Cursed Tongue Records, and whether it’s the clarion groove of opener “Like a Broken Town” or the nods and echoes that pervade “The Cascade,” there’s no question it earns that preservation that only physical media can provide.

Mental Tremors on Thee Facebooks

Cursed Tongue Records webstore

 

Gin Lady, Electric Earth

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Modern enough in its production, Gin Lady’s fourth album, Electric Earth (on Kozmik Artifactz) is nonetheless in pretty direct conversation with the ‘60s, whether it’s “I’m Your Friend” chatting it up with Paul McCartney circa Rubber Soul or the acoustic/piano stomp of “Mercy” in a back and forth with The Rolling Stones, even going so far as to reference “Satisfaction” in the lyrics. These pop-minded textures are met with some heavier rock vibes, but at its loudest, Electric Earth still sticks to a pretty serene feel, starting off at a dancey clip with “Flower People” and capping with the quick Lennonism of “Running No More,” while in between, the four-piece of vocalist Magnus Kamebro, guitarist/vocalist Joakim Karlsson, bassist/vocalist Anthon Johansson and drummer Fredrik Normark gracefully capture bygone vibes on the wistful “The Things You Used to Do,” the jammy “Brothers of the Canyon” and the crisp, clear “Water and Sunshine,” the hook of which could’ve easily come from a lost single from 1965. It’s a niche not everyone’s playing toward at this point, but still instantly familiar and engagingly, efficiently done.

Gin Lady on Thee Facebooks

Electric Earth at Kozmik Artifactz

 

Swanmay, Stoner Circus

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Unabashed stoner rock riff-led ideology persists throughout Stoner Circus, the hard-driving debut full-length from Linz, Austria, three-piece Swanmay. Working from a center of dense but not overblown fuzz, the rockers cast forth a clear-in-its-purposes nine tracks highlighted by “Lake on Fire,” which one can only wonder if whether or not was written in homage to the Austrian annual festival of the same name. In any case, that hook is one of several that feel particularly engaging throughout Stoner Circus, and the depth of tone on the instrumental “Dopechild” is enough to make that song memorable despite a lack of lyrics. Far from revolutionary, ultimately, but clearly not trying to be either, Swanmay’s first LP preaches its post-Kyussism on “Dharma” and in the Lowrider-style roll of “Sylvan” earlier on, but there’s an aggressive edge to it as well that comes to the fore on “Padawan” ahead of closer “Shiva,” which rounds out with a satisfying-if-telegraphed slowdown to make the point one more time about putting the groove first. So be it. As a debut, Stoner Circus gives Swanmay something to build on and already shows promise in songwriting and its well-honed execution of genre tenets.

Swanmay on Thee Facebooks

Swanmay on Bandcamp

 

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Earth Witch Sign to Cursed Tongue Records; Out of the Shallow LP Due in December

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 22nd, 2017 by JJ Koczan

earth witch

Illinois trio Earth Witch will release their debut album, Out of the Shallow, on vinyl through Cursed Tongue Records before the end of the year. They mark the fifth pickup from the emergent imprint behind Neon WarshipDevil’s WitchesGreen Yeti and Mental Tremors, and the second to come from the US. First issued independently earlier this year on CD/DL, Out of the Shallow makes an immediately burled-out impression, dense in its riffing and decidedly belonging to the up-and-coming generation of heavy rock — the Bandcamp boom — but listening to the shouted vocals and dense riffing, one is reminded as well of the bluesy undertones of Egypt and Wo Fat as well.

The songs offer straight-ahead pummel and should make for a heavy platter, all the better since it seems Cursed Tongue has plans for deluxe editions, probably multiple colors, and so on. Preorders start in November for the December release, and you can stream Out of the Shallow in its entirety now on the player at the bottom of this post. Because it’s the future and that’s how shit works here.

Dig and enjoy:

earth-witch-out-of-the-shallow

EARTH WITCH SIGN TO CURSED TONGUE RECORDS

Earth Witch has signed to Cursed Tongue Records for a release of their highly appraised debut album ‘Out Of The Shallow’ coming late 2017. The label is extremely happy to have inked a deal with this hard hitting ensemble and look forward to give OOTS the full red carpet vinyl treatment. Expect several different vinyl editions, TP’s, posters, patches, etc. Already garnering quite a following and appraisal from around the scene amongst fellow musicians, fans and reviewers alike plus also securing them a place on the Doom Charts for March 2017 there is no questioning the band’s merits.

“It’s a real honor to get to work with such talented and focused people as the guys behind Earth Witch and we look forward to pay the much needed respect and acknowledgement to this high-octane stoner rock gold nugget, says Niels Bartholdy of Cursed Tongue Records.

Following up their doom laden 2013 Earthbound EP, Earth Witch unveils their debut longplayer, Out of the Shallow, that shows the trio in their truest rock n’ roll meets doom form. After founding members Ivan Catron (Guitar/Vocals) and Nathan Landolt (Drums) parted ways with their first bassist, they were joined by Derrin Coad (Bass/Vocals) for a Black Sabbath cover set on Halloween. The underlying doom sound remained a vital driving force in the writing, however the band was able to speed things up and get more technical with the new lineup.

Out of the Shallow pays tribute to Iommi style guitar solos and the driving force of rock bands like Red Fang, The Sword, and Kadavar. The 42 minute album was written over the course of two years and tracked in late 2015 with Brandon Carnes in Springfield, IL. From the fast paced high energy opening track until the last chords fade out, Earth Witch keeps the listener headbanging throughout. Album art by David Paul Seymour, with logo and additional layout by Mike Tirehaus. Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Brandon Carnes (Looming) in Springfield, IL at Southtown Studios, Out Of the Shallow was released digitally on Bandcamp as well as on CD and tape in March 2017.

Earth Witch – ‘Out Of The Shallow’ will be Cursed Tongue Records fifth release in just little more than a year. Pre-orders will go online Friday, November 3rd with an expected official release date early December just in right time for the Christmas shopping. So looks like the present hunt is an easy solve this year.

Earth Witch live:
Oct 21 Vaudeville Mews Des Moines, IA
Oct 25 The Swan Dive Austin, TX
Oct 26 Saturn Bar New Orleans, LA

Earth Witch is:
Ivan Catron – Guitars, Vocals
Derrin Coad – Bass, Vocals
Nathan Landolt – Drums

https://www.facebook.com/earthwitch420
https://www.instagram.com/earthwitchdoom
https://earthwitch.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/CursedTongueRecords/
https://www.instagram.com/cursedtongue
http://cursedtonguerecords.bigcartel.com/

Earth Witch, Out of the Shallow (2017)

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