Pet the Preacher, The Cave and the Sunlight: A Web in the Spinning

Posted in Reviews on April 17th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

From an American standpoint, a lot of what riff-rocking Danish trio Pet the Preacher get up to on their second album and Napalm Records debut, The Cave and the Sunlight, will probably seem familiar. On the 11-track/51-minute offering, the Copenhagen-based three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Christian Hede Madsen, bassist/backing vocalist Torben Wæver Pedersen and drummer Christian Von Larsen proffer a brash, bruiser sort of heavy rock, indebted at times directly to Pepper Keenan-era C.O.C., as on “Remains,” but elsewhere deriving an emotional push that to US ears, could sound just as easily culled from commercial hard rock, as on “Marching Earth Pt. 2″ and the penultimate “I’m Not Gonna.” A modern clarity and fullness of production backs that read, though I think ultimately it’s a skewed interpretation. In context of geography, Pet the Preacher offer a split from Europe’s current heavy psych and classic rock proliferation — if there’s one thing The Cave and the Sunlight doesn’t sound like, it’s Graveyard — and whereas in the UK, that alternative seems to come either in vicious sludge or Orange Goblin-inspired booziness, the Danes have taken a different direction, based more on songwriting than tonal impact but still landing plenty heavy when they choose to do so, the initial rush of “Let Your Dragon Fly” following the blown-out bluesy intro “The Cave” and not quite setting up everything the album has to offer, but at least give it a riotous beginning and letting listeners know that in addition to dragons, there be stoner riffs ahead.

We never quite make it from “The Cave” to “the sunlight,” but I suppose the ending of the eight-and-a-half-minute closer and longest track “The Web” offers some brightness of mood compared to Pet the Preacher‘s more downtrodden moments. Between the two, songs play out with varied personalities but consistency of tone and overall feel, and while with an album that tops 50 minutes that can make a song like “The Pig and the Haunted” or even the longer “What Now” (7:45) — the standout lines from which are “What now?/Fuck it” — seem to have to work harder to justify their inclusion, The Cave and the Sunlight gets there sooner or later in each case. Earlier pieces like the drum-led “Kamikaze Night,” which plays tense tom-work against payoff riffing and Madsen‘s throaty, low-in-the-mouth vocal style, and subsequent “Remains,” which follows furthering the hints of slide guitar of the prior track with a verse that seems to singularly call back to C.O.C.‘s 1996 landmark, Wiseblood (not a complaint), have it somewhat easier in distinguishing themselves, resulting in an overarching linear feel for The Cave and the Sunlight — a CD structure that, like the band’s sound itself, runs somewhat counter to trend. Neither their 2012 debut, The Banjo, nor subsequent 2013 compilation, Papa Zen and Meet the Creature (Papa Zen being new or at least unreleased material and Meet the Creature being their 2011 debut EP), stretched beyond the bounds of vinyl-readiness in terms of timing, and here, the two chapters of “Marching Earth Pt. 1″ and “Marching Earth Pt. 2″ are arranged right in the middle, as if to underscore the trio’s intent toward a classic CD flow.

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Duuude, Tapes! Demon Head, Demo 2014

Posted in Duuude, Tapes! on April 1st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Many of the influences Copenhagen five-piece Demon Head are working with will seem familiar. Of course there’s Sabbath, Pentagram, etc., and one can identify points of Witchcraft in the production of their Demo 2014, now available as a limited-to-100 purple cassette through Caligari Records, and some of Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats‘ garage-style shuffle, but what the four-track release really showcases from the Danish newcomers is swing. Fast or slow, their riffs wind their way around the listener’s consciousness, and with the bass of Fuglsang and drums of Wittus – middle and last names or initials only, depending on where you look – Demon Head never stray too far from the soul-corrupted boogie that serves them well here as they follow-up 2013′s Chaos Island Rehearsal 2013 with more developed but still raw and doomed rock.

The blown-out croon of Ferreira Larsen recalls ’80s metal conjurations on opener “Undertaker,” but is malleable ultimately to what’s called for by a given song, and his style helps distinguish Demon Head from the Uncle Acid jangle that’s clearly influenced “Undertaker” and shows up on the eponymous closer as well in its oozing, dirt-packed groove. A rough recording plays well on tape — the four-song program repeats on both sides — and Demo 2014 is most definitely a demo, but the songwriting is there and Larsen, Wittus, Fuglsang and the guitarists, both named Nielsen (presumably they’re related), don’t come off as so loose as to be self-indulgent or unaware of where they’re headed. “Ride the Wilderness” seems to be a band mantra, and as the second cut after “Undertaker,” it’s a faster push to set up the Witchcrafty turn to doom of the shorter “333″ (alternately listed as “III” and “Three”), which leaves a mark lyrically and in the crashing lurch that gives way to a satisfying but not grandiose build before a deft slowdown returns to the chorus.

On the European edition, issued by Smokedd Productions with a different cover, “333″ and “Ride the Wilderness” appear to be switched, but the Caligari version serves the overall flow well, the four songs moving smoothly between each other, getting progressively more doomed until “Demon Head” finishes with nod enough to tie everything else together, a bluesy lead in the first half perhaps foreshadowing developing guitar antics that will show up in increased volume next time out. They’ve got more than an ample amount of groove to justify the physical release — the j-card liner folds out to eight panels with art and recording info on one side and lyrics on the other — and as Demo 2014 fades out from its noisy ending, the tape bodes well both for what Demon Head might do and how they might do it. In terms of their overall approach, there’s room to grow into a more individualized take, but as noted, they’ve got the swing down, and that’s already more than an awful lot of bands.

Demon Head, Demo 2014

Demon Head on Thee Facebooks

Caligari Records on Bandcamp

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Causa Sui, Live at Freak Valley: Sacred Blood in the Garden (PLUS Full Album Stream)

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on March 31st, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Generally speaking, one of the problems with a live album is that save for rare exceptions, unless you happened to be at the show where it was recorded, it’s that much harder to make a connection to the experience of actually seeing the band on stage. I wasn’t so fortunate to be in Netphen, Germany, when Danish heavy psych masters Causa Sui played at Freak Valley 2013, but listening to the El Paraiso Records 2CD/2LP document of their set — fittingly titled Live at Freak Valley and available for preorder now ahead of an April 7 ship date — the audio easily gives a sense of the warmth and vibrancy of the four-piece’s performance. The material is culled from their 2005 self-titled debut (the inimitable “El Paraiso”) all the way to and through 2013′s hyperbole-worthy Euporie Tide, touching on the expansive jams taken from their Summer Sessions and Pewt’r Sessions along the way for a steady flow that, as the lineup of guitarist Jonas Munk, bassist Jess Kahr, drummer Jakob Skøtt and keyboardist Rasmus Rasmussen progress through their own catalog in swells of volume and stretches of subdued exploration, never subsides throughout the two-disc entirety of the release. Live at Freak Valley is Causa Sui‘s first official live album, and it’s not difficult to tell from listening why they’d want it made public. Especially in the longer-form cuts like “Red Valley” (10:19), the “Lonesome Traveller” medley that also includes pieces of “Santa Sangre” and “Garden of Forking Paths” (14:07), “El Paraiso” (12:36), “Euporie” (12:02) and “Homage” (9:56), Causa Sui are as engaging on their live incarnation as they are in their studio output.

Part of that has to be because Causa Sui‘s albums are closely tied to live performance. That sense was certainly true on Euporie Tide, where the mood was spontaneous, like the band could take their laid back grooving and tonal warmth anywhere they wanted to do go, places alternately lush and expansive or driving in their heavy riffs. Live at Freak Valley doesn’t allow for quite the same level of production value as a studio album, but it’s not far off, either. Munk handled the mixing and mastering himself, so the band’s touch is on every level of the release, and that’s clearly made a difference in the atmosphere of the audio. Each disc — or each platter, if you get the vinyl version — holds just under 45 minutes of runtime, so Live at Freak Valley comes across not as a live album sloppily assembled, lazily mixed and tossed out to capitalize on a willing fanbase, but as something that not only recounts Causa Sui‘s work in the past but actually adds something new to their oeuvre as well because of how well the spirit behind their material is carried through these songs and how plain to hear is the chemistry between the band members. Both the first disc (red) and second disc (blue) position Causa Sui not just as a group hitting their stride on stage, but pushing themselves past where they’ve been before to new places that are captured here. As “The Juice” and “Boozehound” from Euporie Tide flesh out into “Lonesome Traveller”-plus, the band elicit a hypnotized response that shows their command of their form and presentation and is only interrupted when the disc ends and it’s time to put on the other one. If anything interrupts the flow on Live at Freak Valley, it’s the constrictions of media.

That’s inevitable, however, and the tradeoff — aside from the positive, atmosphere-enhancing presence of physical media as a whole in comparison to the digital alternative — is that each half of Live at Freak Valley can be read as having a personality of its own, the first plenty immersive but more varied, with more songs included, the pieces worked into “Lonesome Traveller,” the jazzy jumps in “Mireille” and the thoroughly nailed build of “Red Valley” from Summer Sessions Vol. 3 marking the transition point to the second half’s come-get-lost-in-here sprawl. Those four songs alone — “El Paraiso,” “Euporie,” “Homage” and closer “Soledad” — make for what I have no doubt will prove one of 2014′s most satisfying in heavy psychedelia, but to have them coupled immediately with the preceding five tracks and to think of the entirety being presented whole, as one free-flowing set performed live, well, it’s one of the best live albums I’ve heard in a very long time and makes a solid argument for the live album as being able to capture the essence of a band on stage while also giving those who weren’t there a closer look at what they might have missed. Listening back to Munk‘s guitar and Rasmussen‘s keys lead the way over the steady progression of Kahr and Skøtt toward that song’s payoff, it’s clear that Causa Sui‘s creativity extends to how they conduct themselves live. It’s also clear that I need to see these guys play as soon as humanly possible, because whether it’s the initial wall of fuzz that “The Juice” builds or the serenity that bleeds through “Soledad,” Live at Freak Valley showcases some of the finest heavy psych that Europe has to offer. It’s a release the success of which exceeds even the considerable ambition that birthed it. Recommended.

PLEASE NOTE: I’ve been given permission to host the premiere of the full stream of Live at Freak Valley with this review. Please find it on the YouTube player below and enjoy!

Causa Sui, Live at Freak Valley (2014)

El Paraiso Records’ website

El Paraiso Records on Thee Facebooks

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Baby Woodrose, Kicking Ass and Taking Names: Gone Yesterday, Here Tomorrow

Posted in Reviews on March 27th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Seems likely that Copenhagen psych-garage aficionados Baby Woodrose have a considerable backlog of unreleased material. Before the band led by guitarist/vocalist Lorenzo Woodrose, also of Dragontears, released their righteously cool 2012 sixth full-length, Third Eye Surgery (review here), they preceded it with a 2011 comp of early demos titled Mindblowing Seeds and Disconnected Flowers (review here). The new collection, Kicking Ass and Taking Names, also dips back to the beginnings of the band, and from the second one unfolds the six-panel Bad Afro Records digipak (or, presumably, opens the vinyl), there’s an archival feel. Lorenzo Woodrose himself offers liner notes extolling the virtues of the B-side as an opportunity to experiment and gives recording dates and circumstances for each of the comp’s 14 tracks, spanning years from early 2002 to 2013, and as he explains it, there’s more on offer than just B-sides. The tracks “Coming Around Again” and “I Feel High” were released together as a single in 2008, and “Light up Your Mind” and “Bubblegum” came out together through Bad Afro last year. Covers of The Troggs‘ “6654321″ and Otis Redding‘s “That’s How Strong My Love Is” (which Humble Pie also covered in 1973) end each half of the tracklist and represent the earliest material included, coming from the band’s Feb. 2002 first session with their original lineup. Of course, with variation in the years of release, production and lineup, Kicking Ass and Taking Names has a few notable jumps in sound, but a remaster for everything included gives some sense of flow to the collection’s 36-minute course.

Really, the structure of Kicking Ass and Taking Names isn’t that of a compilation of individual, standalone tracks, but of a previously unreleased EP plus enough bonus cuts to extend it to full-length. While they were subsequently released on singles, the first five tracks — “Information Overload,” “Good Day to Die,” “Coming Around Again,” “I Feel High” and “Making My Time” — come from the same session, recorded by the late Ralph Rjeily in 2007 and issued in drips and drabs in the years since. Those with prior exposure to Baby Woodrose‘s fervent worship of 13th Floor Elevators-style psychedelia will be right at home with “Information Overload”‘s space-rocking thrust and Woodrose‘s own howls echoing up from the swirl. I’ve always considered his style to have similar roots to those of Monster Magnet‘s Dave Wyndorf, but Woodrose‘s approach is looser, the material it tops less concerned with sprawl. “Good Day to Die” is an early highlight the energy of which is a precursor to some of what arrives later on side B’s (can you have a side B on a collection of B-sides?) “Here Today Gone Tomorrow” and “Live Wire,” while “Coming Around Again” delivers a poppier take and “I Feel High” backs it with acoustic-based lysergics, a steady undercurrent of fuzz and organ making a complex mix sound simple. That track builds but remains drumless, leaving the buzz of “Making My Time” to sum up the preceding four with organ start-stops, echoing space and an easy, right-on groove. As ever, Woodrose remains a strong presence, but I wouldn’t discount the organ work of Fuzz Daddy either, which is featured in a solo in the song’s second half.

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Demon Head’s Demo 2014 Tape Available Now

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 7th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Cast in shadows of Witchcraft‘s vintage stylizations and Uncle Acid‘s malevolent garage jangle, the Demo 2014 from Copenhagen five-piece Demon Head is available now and presumably not for long on limited-to-100 copies cassette (they seem to all have made it into the photo below) via Caligari Records. The four-song outing includes Demon Head‘s eponymous track, a highlight of the band’s post-Pentagram doom rock early going, resting comfortably on a bed of nodding riffs and skillfully pulled blues solos. It’s a cool atmosphere and I imagine the raw ’70s loyalism goes well on tape. For now a Bandcamp stream should be enough to give some idea.

The PR wire will make converts of us all:

DEMON HEAD – Demo 2014 – Out On Cassette Via CALIGARI Records

This four-song recording by doom band DEMON HEAD captures the essence of old school doom and skips entirely the musical evolution that has taken place during the last three decades. DEMON HEAD craft stripped down, soulful and blues-based doom rock and Demo 2014 is a wicked and evocative offering that vastly improves over the tracks included in last year’s Chaos Island Rehearsal 2013.

Long winters and short glimpses of the sun brought Demon Head to life in Copenhagen sometime during spring 2012. Jamming and refining the sounds of sinister voices has been the purpose since then, resulting in the first sonic outings in the course of the last year. Demon Head is heavy rock, aiming to fuse the atmosphere of 70′s dark heavy metal with twin guitar lead harmonies.

After a tour through the Winterland of northern Scandinavia, this February saw the release of a demo tape that we’ve been dying to put out. The recordings were made when the leaves fell red in 2013 and represent a starting point of what we’re trying to achieve in terms of sound. In March, a 7″ will be born from the hands of ourselves and the danish record coven Levitation Records.

Members have been or are active in other bands such as Scavenger Brats, I, Mountain, Øresund Space Collective, Alucarda and Reefer.

Limited to 100 copies. This is the 7th release of CALIGARI Records.

A European version of Demo 2014 has been released by Smokedd Productions.

Limited to 100 copies
Pro Tapes – Pro Covers With Full Lyrics

Order $5.50:
Official Site:

Demon Head, Demo 2014

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Pet the Preacher Sign to Napalm Records; Added to Desertfest Berlin Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 13th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Congratulations to Copenhagen-based trio Pet the Preacher on inking a deal with Napalm Records. The Danish heavy rockers will have their sophomore full-length, The Cave and the Sunlight, out on Napalm/Spinning Goblin Productions a little later in the year, and for a release party, they’ve just been added to the lineup of Desertfest Berlin, replacing Master Musicians of Bukkake, who’ve canceled their European tour entirely. Not too bad.

You might recall Pet the Preacher debuted their “Let Your Dragon Fly” video here in December as the first audio to come from The Cave and the Sunlight, and if you don’t feel like clicking on that link, the short version of the story is that it bodes well. One might be hard-pressed to keep it in mind during these unpleasant depths of winter, but April will be here before you know it.

So once again, kudos to Pet the Preacher – comprised of guitarist/vocalist Christian Hede Madsen, bassist/backing vocalist Torben Wæver Pedersen and drummer Christian Von Larsen — and here’s looking forward to The Cave and the Sunlight when it hits. The PR wire takes it from here:

Napalm Records/Spinning Goblin Signs PET THE PREACHER

Napalm Records / Spinning Goblin is extremely proud to announce the world wide signing of the Denmark’s Heavy Stoner Blues Band Pet The Preacher!

The band’s sophomore album will hit stores in the end of April and will be celebrated with an album release show at DesertFest Berlin!

“We are beyond excited to officially announce our signing to Napalm Records/Spinning Goblin. Pet The Preacher is a band that strives to be something special, and by our collaboration with Napalm Records, we are given the opportunity to prove that we are a force to be reckoned with and that we are not giving up… Ever”

Christian Hede Madsen / Vocals/Guitar

For More Info Visit:

Pet the Preacher, “Let Your Dragon Fly” official video

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Papir, IIII: Sand, Space and Between

Posted in Reviews on January 24th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

IIII is the fourth Papir album in about as many years. The Copenhagen trio of guitarist Nicklas Sørensen, bassist Christian Becher Clausen and drummer Christoffer Brøchmann made a self-titled debut in 2010 and followed in 2011 with Stundum, their first release on El Paraiso Records, run by Jonas Munk and Jakob Skøtt of Causa Sui. Munk would produce their early 2013 full-length, III, and a collaboration with Electric Moon, dubbed The Papermoon Sessions (review here), followed later in the year. With IIII, Papir step back into their own gorgeous krautrock ambience, proffering four tracks/48 minutes of semi-improvisational instrumental work that’s concerned neither with genre nor heft, but sonically uplifting and creatively open. The cuts — “I” (10:45), “II” (9:35), “III” (21:43) and “IIII” (5:15) — run deep and personal despite their I-only titles, the effect of which is to make one think not necessarily of Roman numerals, for which the last would be “IV,” but more like the bars on the album artwork, reminding of some sort of schematic or engineering grid, if not for the bars as representing actual people, paired off as some are. Sure enough, Papir seem to be working from a schematic of their own on this material, though they end up with a breadth that’s bound to test the limit of any blueprint from which it might be working.

It’s immediately noteworthy that “IIII,” which is the de facto title-track of the album, doesn’t appear on the vinyl version. That makes the runtimes on the two sides of the LP just about even and keeps IIII over the 40-minute mark in total, but it makes side B comprised entirely of “III” which only furthers the notion that that song is practically a full-length unto itself. Prior to, on side A, Papir begin with the intricate runs of “I,” all the members of the band making simultaneous entry amid gracefully mounted, unforced atmospherics. The splash in Brøchmann‘s cymbals has as much of an effect on those atmospheres as does Sørensen‘s guitar or its interplay with Clausen‘s bass, which takes an early solo leading the way past the first minute of “I.” Early on, Papir leave little room for choice. If you’re going to go with “I,” you have to go with it. When they start, they’re already off and moving, and by the time they hit the dreamy midpoint from which they build the lush second half of the track, the hypnotic effect that remains in place for the remainder of the side, “II” moving in linear fashion from a subdued beginning to fervent-but-not-overdone payoff and then lingering with enough of progressive atmospheric naturalism that I was looking to see if I might’ve missed a Gary Arce guest appearance somewhere along the line.

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Causa Sui’s Jakob Skøtt to Release Amor Fati on March 17

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 23rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

On March 17, El Paraiso Records will release Amor Fati, the second solo offering from Causa Sui drummer Jakob Skøtt. No audio from the album has surfaced publicly as of this moment, but as described below, it does follow a much different course than Skøtt‘s 2012 solo debut, Doppler, trading out electronic ambience for a fuller “band” feel.

Preorders? Not yet. But the announcement of the record’s release follows here courtesy of the PR wire if you’d like to get acquainted ahead of time:

Jakob Skøtt: Amor Fati

Causa Sui drummer Jakob Skøtt returns with his 2nd full length in his own name. Taking the leap from his debut Doppler’s introvert kosmische synthesizer dronescapes diving into a full blown mad scientist one-band mode, Jakob straps on a wide array of heavy percussive modes to fuel his vivid utopia of analogue synths and drums. It’s one man’s vision as crazed and intoxicated as it is soothing and compelling, borrowing as many clues from afro-beat, latin-grooves and new age-ambience as it does from the booming legacy of krautrock. The proceedings are distanced from both coolness and kitsch, and a refreshing break from any standards.

Mantis in Lace kicks off the record with a thick repetitive bass synth riff, on top of two drum kits battling to spontaneously combust. On top of that a heavy percussive layer of echo-addled synthesizers is working out a path of it’s own: An opening statement constantly collapsing on itself. Synthemesc takes a calmer, yet insisting percussive mode of full bodied Moog-tone carrying the track into a John Carpenter-ish landing. Araucaria Fire straps on congas for a more exotic journey into an organ riddled percussive climax, recollecting Trans Am and Tony Williams Lifetime. Side B lends to a more subtle start, with two tracks of electroorgasmic psychedelic bliss, leading the way into the heart of the title track – a heavy slice of funk as dense as any 4-piece band could have cooked it up. Earth of no Horizon lands the spaceship safely with echos of Terry Riley or Vangelis.

Amor Fati is unique blend of improvisation, as well as carefully structured climaxes and shifts. All drums were recorded first take in a single afternoon, soloes slashed out in impulse mode, albeit everything was creatively mixed, using the editing process as yet another instrument in the vein of Bitches Brew, in line with the album’s title, giving apollonian structure to a dionysian chaos. It’s music that acknowledges both the glorious and the illfated in the unpredictable current of music.

Jakob Skøtt, “Longevity Suite” from Doppler (2012)

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Papir Announce New Album IIII and Debut First Track

Posted in audiObelisk on January 9th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Next month, a year after releasing their third album, III, through El Paraiso Records, Danish heavy psych trio Papir return with IIII. Available now to preorder, IIII continues the Copenhagen three-piece’s push toward far-out instrumental jamming, beginning in medias res with the first of its four included parts, while also building on the psychedelic rush of their prior work. It is rich, sonically diverse and organic sounding, and without pretense toward cosmic themes — or anything else, for that matter — it taps into a hypnotic pulse that comes derived from space rock but never fully aligns itself with the post-Hawkwindian sphere or departs the sun-soaked field of terrestrial psychedelia.

Perhaps that last image is the most fitting for IIII, which was recorded partly in Copenhagen and partly out in the Danish countryside, with Causa Sui‘s Jonas Munk, who would also mix and master the album, at the helm. Even within the 10-minute opener, the trio’s progressive explorations veer into riffier crunch and airy post-rock with a sonic dexterity that would be frightening were it not also so gorgeously smooth, and the prevailing atmosphere is one not of aggression, but of peace. Guitarist Nicklas Sørensen, bassist Christian Becher and drummer Christoffer Brøchmann execute their parts with a jazzy clarity and focus, but even at its loudest, IIII is not unintentionally intense or more consuming than it wants to be. That precision, in balance with the organic output across “I,” its no-less-gracefully building counterpart “II,” the 21-minute sprawl of “III” and the serenely ambient “IIII,” results in an outing of great reach and greater affect. It is subtle, but expansive.

Ahead of the release on Feb. 11 (that’s when preorders ship, anyway), I have the pleasure today of hosting the premiere of “I.” I’ve no doubt you’ll find its 10:46 run immersive, and the only downside is that after it reaches its crescendo — oh, you’ll know it when you hear it — it won’t be immediately followed by the next of the LP’s four tracks. A month isn’t so long to wait.

Papir will be appearing at Roadburn 2014, both alone and alongside Electric Moon – their collaborative debut, The Papermoon Sessions (review here), is available now on Sulatron – and have been announced for the Freak Valley Festival in Germany as well.

Please enjoy “I” below, followed by more info courtesy of El Paraiso, who in the coming months will also release a new solo offering from Jakob Skøtt and a live Causa Sui album (their first) from Freak Valley:

Papir, “I” from IIII

PAPIR release new album in less than a month – pre-orders up now at:

Papir has the unique ability to transform heavy, psychedelic music into something fresh. Sure, Papir knows their kraut- and progrock history, but unlike the majority of bands in the present day psych-rock scene they venture far beyond mere pastiche. By now the bands concerts have become awe-inducing experiences, earning them slots at major European festivals including Roskilde (2012), and Roadburn (2014).

It’s stunning to witness how Papir pull numerous influences together with natural ease in these three lengthy excursions. It sounds inspired.

Not only is Papir IIII heavier than previous their efforts, it seems more lush and atmospheric as well. It is the sound of a band fulfilling its potential. Onwards and upwards.

We’re amazed to bring you this centerpiece exactly one year since the revered III was release – the album that really put Papir on the map. We had to reprint it a few months later, so grab that while you’re at it:

Papir IIII is available as LP including mp3 download card – packed in a heavy duty recycled sleeve. Every order of this album from the El Paraiso shop gets a sheet of limited El Paraiso stickers! As well as an oversized heavy duty catalogue card. All our orders are packed in sturdy double sided cardboard boxes.

Papir on Thee Facebooks

El Paraiso Records

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Rising Begin Writing for Third Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 7th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

All I know is that when Rising‘s third record is done, sometime this year, if I’m fortunate enough to be able to stream it in full as I did their 2011 debut, To Solemn Ash (streaming here), and 2013′s follow-up, Abominor (streaming here), I’ll have to use a different band photo with it, because the Danish big-tone sludgers are set to premiere a whole new lineup for their forthcoming outing. That’s a ways off yet, since they’ve just started writing and Abominor only came out about two months ago, but still, it’s good to know they’ve got something in the works.

The PR wire has words for your eyes:

RISING Kicks Off 2014 With Songwriting For Next Album; Band Forming New Lineup

Danish epic sludge act, RISING, had a turbulent 2013, writing, recording and releasing their second album, Abominor, amidst losing two out of three members and leaving remaining member and main composer Jacob Krogholt to reconsider the band’s future.

Since the departure of vocalist/bassist Henrik Hald and drummer Jacob Johansen in July, Krogholt has regrouped with the band’s original drummer Martin Niemann, while forming his own label, Indisciplinarian, to release Abominor this past November; a grim, aggressive album adding punk and crust-influenced elements to the band’s already inherent traits of heaviness, epic feel and melodic sense as heard on their previous releases including the debut album, To Solemn Ash. No shows will be played in direct support of Abominor as Krogholt and Niemann — the core of a yet-to-be-complete new lineup — has focused solely on writing new material for RISING’s third album. The duo has just completed demos for five new tracks, and has a plethora of additional riffage and ideas penned for exploration over the coming months of songwriting.

RISING is to complete the new lineup, with tryouts for a new vocalist and bassist looming, and plans to be back on the road and recording the new album with the new personnel will take shape for the second half of 2014. Meanwhile Krogholt will be busy with other new Indisciplinarian releases including the new album from noise rock duo Fossils along with a new Krogholt-related metallic outfit yet to revealed.

Until the new era of RISING hits the road again and new material find its way unto tape and into the public sphere, the Abominor LP and the band’s previous releases can be streamed via their Bandcamp. The Abominor 12″ LP can be obtained by European customers via Indisciplinarian RIGHT HERE, while Earsplit Distro is the sole North American outlet for the album, mongering the album HERE. The LP is constructed out of 180-gram black vinyl with a heavy inner sleeve and limited to three hundred copies worldwide.

Rising, Abominor (2013)

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Pet the Preacher Premiere “Let Your Dragon Fly” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 20th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Following their 2013 double-EP, Papa Zen and Meet the Creature, and 2012′s The Banjo full-length debut, Danish heavy rock trio Pet the Preacher will release their second album, The Cave and the Sunlight in 2014, getting dirty in a mound of distortion-fueled riffs and grooves bordering on morbidly obese. Their past releases, save for Meet the Creature when it was initially released in 2011, came out on Bilocation Records, and in the new video for the song “Let Your Dragon Fly,” Pet the Preacher continue to root into well-tempered stoner rock burl, not giving up a catchy hook in favor of a burly sound, but striking a balance that seems to make the most of both.

Where they end up sonically is in a similar next-gen stoner heavy mindset not unlike that of UK troublemakers Steak, though obviously the dynamic is different in Pet the Preacher with Christian Hede Madsen handling both vocals and guitar. Joined in the band by bassist/backing vocalist Torben Wæver Pedersen and drummer Christian Von Larsen, Madsen shows a push toward even weightier fare near the end of “Let Your Dragon Fly” — it’s a dragon as opposed to a freak flag, one assumes — and the production of former Hatesphere vocalist Jacob Bredahl only brings that more forward. The video, which is their first and which Madsen also helmed, follows suit with a strikingly dark thematic and gritty look.

It’s a DIY job, as the guitarist explains below, but comes out with a professional look all the same. em>The Cave and the Sunlight was recorded live and will be out next year. Enjoy “Let Your Dragon Fly” below:

Pet the Preacher, “Let Your Dragon Fly” official video

Christian Hede Madsen on “Let Your Dragon Fly”

The film is a tribute to old, avant garde films. The black/white shots, the blurred images and classic symbolism are inspired by the likes of Man Ray and Bunuel. I shot the film on an iPhone, and then asked a good friend and my uncle to shoot something for the project as well. Everything is shot on either phones or small, cheap cameras. Editing was done on an iPad.

My main goal with the music-video, was making something that felt real. Something that had layers, and didn’t just please the viewers, but challenged them a little bit. That is how we make our music in Pet The Preacher, and how our new album, The Cave & The Sunlight, is; an ideal of making something that matters. We are a rock ‘n’ roll trio, no doubt, but I am not ashamed to say that we aim for art.

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Pet the Preacher on Twitter

Bilocation Records

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The Obelisk Radio Add of the Week: Øresund Space Collective, Live at Loppen 2013-11-19

Posted in Radio on November 27th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

If you ever want to know the fastest way into my heart, name a song “Black Sabbath Forever in Space” and see how long it takes for me to nerd out on it. Rest assured it’ll be some record time. That most righteous of titles closes the new live set from instrumental Danish outfit Øresund Space Collective, Live at Loppen 2013-11-19, which was captured just over a week ago at the Loppen club in Christiania, Denmark, as the band was opening for Siena Root (who have a new 7″ out; man I’d like to see that band play). There are four songs, the shortest one of them is 11 minutes long, and true to Øresund Space Collective‘s jam-based ethic, there isn’t a moment of the thing that doesn’t feel like it was made up on the spot. The lineup for the evening was Nicklas and Rune on guitar, Jiri on bass, Birk on drums, and Rasmus and sometimes-Obelisk-contributor Scott “Dr. Space” Heller on synth.

The band also have a new studio album out called Organic Earthly Flotation. They’ll be playing the 2014 Freak Valley festival on May 29-31 alongside Mos GeneratorStubbWo Fat, Samsara Blues Experiment and many others, and Live at Loppen 2013-11-19 is one of several gigs recently uploaded for free acquisition through (check them out here). They (rightly) encourage audience taping, and as you can hear following the second of the four cuts here, “Galaxy X74W32,” even they’re surprised sometimes where their songs end up. Dr. Space introduces the lineup and gives the crowd the skinny on their approach, and in a brief moment, Øresund Space Collective are under way again. The set is half over at that point — they opened with the rich textures of “Star Search,” which is a fitting title for what’s essentially an exploration of space rock — and it’s abundantly clear that any warming up or settling in they needed to do is long since past. Though their roster of contributors changes regularly, what remains constant in Øresund Space Collective is the absolute liquidity of their jamming.

I don’t know if the Miles mentioned in “Miles, Where are You?” is in fact Miles Davis, but I’d have to believe it if you told me it was. At a meager 11:32, it’s the shortest of the jams here, but features a highlight bassline in the early going from Jiri and some impressive jazzy guitar interplay as well. Of course, the synth is more or less a constant, filling out the open spaces with brazenly psychedelic swirling and effects, making the whole sound fuller and more immersive. Things start to unravel a bit after eight minutes in, but Jiri and Birk hold the piece together until finally the drums stop and the song ends with a laugh from Heller. Perhaps unsurprisingly, “Black Sabbath Forever in Space” is the most riff-led of the inclusions from the show. Guitars start and stay at the fore for an initial stretch as the texture swells up around, soloing and riffing gradually being absorbed, leaving just the bass and drums to remind of the initial progression. Doubtless if that was the “Black Sabbath,” then what ensues is the “Forever in Space,” but the transition between the two is raw, natural and molten. At their best, Øresund Space Collective present the organic product of a creative process, and that’s just what you get with Live at Loppen 2013-11-19. allows for embedding players, so you can check out the release below. All told it’s a full hour of deep psychedelic hypnosis, but even in its component pieces, Øresund Space Collective manage to put the listener in a trance, and that’s precisely why I wanted to include Live at Loppen in the playlist for The Obelisk Radio. However you dig into it, either there or on the player that follows, please enjoy and space on.

Øresund Space Collective, Live at Loppen 2013-11-19

Øresund Space Collective at

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Electric Moon & Papir, The Papermoon Sessions: Comfort Mechanisms

Posted in Reviews on November 11th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

On Aug. 9, 2012, Danish promoter, engineer and heavy psych supporter Ralph Rjeily passed away from testicular cancer. His loss reverberated through those who knew him in the European underground (Scott “Dr. Space” Heller of Øresund Space Collective contributed a remembrance), and it’s in his honor that the Sulatron Records collaborative release, The Papermoon Sessions, arrives. The album, dedicated to the memory of Rjeily, features Copenhagen trio Papir in direct and improvisational collaboration with guitarist/keyboardist Dave “Sula Bassana” Schmidt and bassist Komet Lulu of Germany’s Electric Moon, as well as synth specialist Mogens Deenfort (also of Øresund Space Collective), and of course takes its name from the combination of Papir and Electric Moon that it is. This collaborative effort poses an interesting question in terms of Electric Moon‘s overall catalog — and since it’s released on Schmidt‘s Sulatron Records and features artwork by Lulu, I’ll count it as part of that pastiche — in that since most of their output is the result either of improv jamming or of parts put together as a result thereof, and since so much of its appeal is in demonstrating so honestly the foundational chemistry at the heart of the band, what do you call it when they bring four more players (five if you count Rosi Diamond, who is credited with “mental support” in the CD liner) along for the ride? Turns out on The Papermoon Sessions that you still call it jamming. The members of Papir – guitarist Nicklas Sørensen, drummer Christoffer Brøchmann Christensen, and bassist Christian Becher Clausen — fit in smoothly alongside Schmidt and Lulu, and the overarching ethic of The Papermoon Sessions remains much the same as it is on their many live and studio releases, with the key differences being rooted in the fact that the psychedelia is given even more reach by the additional parties involved.

The album itself is comprised of three jams, two longer works bookending a shorter centerpiece: “Farewell Mr. Space Echo” (16:10), “Red Dust” (5:58) and “The Circle” (21:17), resulting in a still-vinylable 43-minute runtime. Each of the three cuts is given its own personality and sense of movement, and it should say something about the level of immersive substance overall that “Red Dust” should feel like a take-a-breath interlude at just under six minutes. Elsewhere, the hypnosis is complete, whether it’s immediately textured feel that “Farewell Mr. Space Echo” hones as it begins to quietly unfold its build or the solo-drenched culmination of “The Circle,” which draws complete in a manner befitting its title. It’s murky in terms of knowing just who is doing what at a given moment — though that last solo seems a little more searing than something Schmidt might concoct, as much as I’d hate to speculate and be wrong — but of course part of the fun of listening is being taken along for the ride by the players involved rather than picking out every single change. That said, Christensen‘s work on drums is especially worth noting, as he brings fluidity in his crash to “Farewell Mr. Space Echo” that only deepens the (purposeful) meandering sensibility while also keeping it active and moving along with the wash of guitar, effects and synth, not to mention the two bassists, who seem by the song’s middle to be locked in a tandem groove. That’s not to say that Sørensen and Schmidt have all the fun on these jams, but the collaboration plays out like an extension of the power trio dynamic rather than a complete six-piece band. There is a rhythm section and there are guitars and synth giving a lush, melodic and of course spaced-out vibe. It’s how well the sides work with each other — hard enough to play like a trio with a trio, let alone a six-piece — that makes The Papermoon Sessions so ultimately engaging.

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audiObelisk: Rising Stream New Album Abominor in Full

Posted in audiObelisk on November 4th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Copenhagen trio Rising made their full-length debut in 2011 on Exile on Mainstream with the hard-hitting To Solemn Ash. The album (streamed here) found itself embroiled in post-Mastodon semi-technical tonal heft, but where Rising really distinguished themselves was in their ability to lock down a galloping pace, and its precisely that metallic ideology that arrives most developed on their 38-minute second outing, Abominor, which is released through their own Indisciplinarian imprint today, Nov. 4.

Whether it’s the build-into-full-run of “Vengeance is Timeless” or the classically punkish charge of “Suffering Nameless,” Rising also have stripped down the production some from what it was their last time out, and where To Solemn Ash was big and pounding, Abominor takes a more natural-sounding approach. This is well-suited to the gruff vocals of bassist Henrik Hald – who along with drummer Jacob Johansen has since left the band, only to have guitarist Jacob Krogholt rejoined by original drummer Martin Niemann.

If there was friction in the band during the writing and recording, Abominor hardly shows it. Though it’s less concerned with melody than was its predecessor, and one might read clues to some imbalance in various parts if one tries really, really hard, the harmonized vocals in “The Hills Below” and the driving stomp of opener “The Disdain” sound no less vital than did Rising their last time out. If anything, the rougher-hewn production dirties up their aesthetic a bit and makes album-centerpiece “Leech” all the more vicious, while also adding a more individualized feel.

It’s up in the air where Krogholt and Niemann might take Rising from here, but Abominor (released in a 180 gram LP edition of 300) serves both as a summation of what this lineup was able to accomplish and as a potential clue to what might come next. Please find the full album on the player below, followed by some commentary from Krogholt, and enjoy:

Rising, Abominor (2013)

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Jacob Krogholt on Abominor:

So this is the new RISING album Abominor streaming here at The Obelisk. It’s the second album from the band (after an EP and a 7”), the last from this particular lineup and the first release on my newly formed INDISCIPLINARIAN. Confused? Explanation: The album is the last with the lineup that also recorded our first album To Solemn Ash and the Legacy of Wolves 7″. In the time from after the first album and up to the recording of the new album, we grew apart on several levels, and after the recordings, the other two members left the band. Nonetheless we managed to do this last album together, which I’m damn proud of.

Abominor is a somewhat harsher and more aggressive album than TSA, but it’s still very much RISING. It’s coming out as the first release on my label INDISCIPLINARIAN, so I’m kinda multitasking here! The label will put out a couple of awesome releases next year as well.

As for RISING, it’s NOT the end. I’m continuing the band with our original drummer Martin Niemann, with whom I formed the band back in 2008. We’re writing new stuff at rapid speed, it feels and sounds awesome, and we hope to complete a new line-up, record and perform live in the course of 2014. Until then, have a listen to the last output from the first chapter of RISING, which is the nine songs of Abominor. And many thanks to The Obelisk for putting it up — Hope you enjoy!

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Rising on Bandcamp


Earsplit Distro

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The Obelisk Radio Add of the Week: Doublestone, Wingmakers

Posted in Radio on October 23rd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

My feeble mind can rarely conceive of heavy rock from Copenhagen without getting at least a flash of the 13th Floor Elevators-style chicanery of Baby Woodrose, but newcomer trio Doublestone are on a different trip. Their Levitation Records debut full-length, Wingmakers, follows three EPs and was recorded earlier this year by none other than Mos Generator guitarist/vocalist Tony Reed. While that tells me the 10-track/41-minute collection must have been put to tape in a decent hurry, since presumably Reed was on tour at the time — unless he did it after the shows were over — the album hardly sounds rushed, instead working at a comfortable pace to capitalize on heavy ’70s and heavy ’10s influences alike.

Expectedly, shades of Graveyard show up in the boogie of “In the Forest” or the shuffling and catchy “Fire Down Below,” but Doublestone have a kind of pagan lyrical thematic in that song and others like “Born under a Hollow Moon,” “The Bringer of Light,” “Witch is Burning” and closer “III III III (Götterdämmerung)” that sets them apart, and with Reed at the helm, the production on Wingmakers is warm but hardly retro. Opener “Save Our Souls” sets an immediately modern mood with talk in its first lines of drones and satellites, so however derived the rush might be, there’s some subtle contextualizing at work that finds Doublestone working to develop their own sound within the genre.

“The Endless Line” and the smooth low end of “Born under a Hollow Moon” seem to be begging for swagger from guitarist/vocalist Bo Blond, bassist Kristian Blond and drummer Michael Bruun, but the swinging roots are there and both those tracks and the rest groove well alongside the periodic inclusion of organ, which gives Wingmakers a tie to cult rock as well as to the classic heavy modus they’re in part working from. They have some growing to do, but the album sounds engaging and full, particularly as the title-track and side A closer picks up with tonally rich nod en route to a solo both classy in itself and not backed by needless rhythm tracks, keeping to a robust live feel.

Could it be the birth of cult boogie? Seems unlikely, but I wouldn’t conjecture either way. Most importantly, Doublestone give a solid first long-play showing, and set themselves up as having a deceptively individual take to work from their next time out. It would hardly be fair to ask more of Wingmakers than that, except maybe some explanation of what the title means.

Whatever the answer to that might be, you can hear Doublestone now as part of the streaming The Obelisk Radio playlist, and get a feel for what they’ve got going on with “In the Forest” below. Wingmakers is out Nov. 6 on Levitation Records. Enjoy:

Doublestone, “In the Forest” from Wingmakers (2013)

Doublestone on Thee Facebooks

Doublestone’s website

Levitation Records

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