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 2014from 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
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”
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 IIIIover 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.
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.
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, IIIIcontinues 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:http://elparaisorecords.com/releases/papir-III
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.
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 Abominoronly 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 IndisciplinarianRIGHT HERE, while Earsplit Distro is the sole North American outlet for the album, mongering the albumHERE. The LP is constructed out of 180-gram black vinyl with a heavy inner sleeve and limited to three hundred copies worldwide.
Following their 2013 double-EP, Papa Zen and Meet the Creature, and 2012′s The Banjofull-length debut, Danish heavy rock trio Pet the Preacher will release their second album, The Cave and the Sunlightin 2014, getting dirty in a mound of distortion-fueled riffs and grooves bordering on morbidly obese. Their past releases, save for Meet the Creaturewhen 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.
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 Generator, Stubb, Wo Fat, Samsara Blues Experiment and many others, and Live at Loppen 2013-11-19is one of several gigs recently uploaded for free acquisition through Archive.org (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.
Archive.org 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 Loppenin 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
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 Sessionsthat 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 Sessionsremains 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 Sessionsso ultimately engaging.
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 SolemnAshwas big and pounding, Abominortakes 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, Abominorhardly 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)
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!
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!
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 Wingmakersa 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 Wingmakersthan 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. Wingmakersis out Nov. 6 on Levitation Records. Enjoy:
Doublestone, “In the Forest” from Wingmakers (2013)
Kind of hard to get the full story on the new Smells Like Sweat documentary about Denmark’s 2012 inaugural Heavy Days in Doomtown fest from the trailer posted yesterday, but the clip of The Wounded Kings guitarist and founder Steve Mills saying, “I’m a lazy fucking bastard guitar player, and I like to have a lot of time to think between riffs,” would seem to indicate that good times abound.
Presumably there’s more to come — a trailer usually precedes a full feature — and in the meantime, the 2013 installment of Heavy Days in Doomtown has been announced for May 2-5 at Undomshuset in Copenhagen. Lineup info can be found in the comments of this post (thanks to those who posted it).
Here’s the trailer and a blurb from the creators about the theory behind the documentary:
A no budget film focusing in on doom as a movement more than a genre. Meet the bands and artists in one of the most embracing subcultures. See the venues melt away the difference between the bands and the audience in a DIY setting.
“Unknow Factor” is a collective of artists working in a copyleft setting to deliver stories from beneath the surface. No budget. No sponsors. Only the chaotic truth.
Posted in Reviews on October 16th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
I am constantly working at a deficit. Financially, yes, because like many of my countrymen I’m am tens of thousands of dollars in debt — but also in terms of reviews. I’malwaysbehind on reviews. Hell, it was into July of this year before I finally put the kybosh on writing up anything from 2011, and I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t put my foot down on it, I’d still have year-old albums going up or older. My to-do list grows like a witchcult.
It’s not something to complain about and I’m not complaining. I’m stoked people give enough of a shit to send their CDs in to be reviewed — especially those who actually send CDs — and it’s for that reason that I do this second reviewsplosion (first one here).
Yeah, as ever, I’m behind on reviews, but I’m also working on being more concise — I swear I am; check out the At a Glance reviews if you don’t believe me — and one of the things I liked so much about the last reviewsplosion was it forced me to get to the fucking point. As direct a line as possible to a review. Boiling the idea down to its essential core.
With that in mind, here’s my attempt to both balance my review budget and be as clear as humanly possible. Hope you dig:
Altar of Oblivion, Grand Gesture of Defiance
The subject of some spirited debate on the forum, the second record from Danish five-piece Altar of Oblivion revels in traditional doom methods. There’s an air of pomp in some of the songs — “Graveyard of Broken Dreams” lays it on a little thick — but by and large, Grand Gesture of Defiance(Shadow Kingdom) is a more than solid showing of genre. Classic underground metal flourishes abound, and while it’s not a record to change your life, at six tracks/34 minutes, neither does it hang around long enough to be overly repetitive. You could do way worse. Altar of Oblivion on Thee Facebooks.
Blooming Látigo, Esfínteres y Faquires
Primarily? Weird. The Spanish outfiit Blooming Látigo make their debut on Féretro Records (CD) and Trips und Träume (LP) with the all-the-fuck-over-the-place Esfínteres y Faquires, alternately grinding out post-hardcore and reciting Birthday Party-style poetry. They reach pretty hard to get to “experimental,” maybe harder than they need to, but the on-a-dime stops and high-pitched screams on tracks like “Onania” and “Prisciliano” are well beyond fascinating, and the blown-out ending of “La Destrucción del Aura” is fittingly apocalyptic. Who gave the art-school kids tube amps? Blooming Látigo on Bandcamp.
Five years since their second offering, Green Magic, left such a strong impression, Italian stoner rock trio El-Thule return with Zenit (Go Down Records), which makes up for lost time with 50 minutes of heavy riffs, fuzzy desert grooves and sharp, progressive rhythms. The band — El Comandante (bass), Mr. Action (guitar/vocals) and Gweedo Weedo (drums/vocals) — may have taken their time in getting it together, but there’s little about Zenit that lags, be it the faster, thrashier “Nemesis” or thicker, Torche-esque melodic push of the highlight “Quaoar.” It’s raw, production-wise, but I hope it’s not another half-decade before El-Thule follow it up. El-Thule on Thee Facebooks.
Botanist, III: Doom in Bloom
It’s a nature-worshiping post-black metal exploration of what the History Channel has given the catchy title “life after people.” If you’ve ever wondered what blastbeats might sound like on a dulcimer, Botanist‘s third album, III: Doom in Bloom has the answers you seek, caking its purported hatred of human kind in such creative instrumentation and lyrics reverent of the natural world rather than explicitly misanthropic. The CD (on Total Rust) comes packaged with a second disc called Allies, featuring the likes of Lotus Thief and Matrushka and giving the whole release a manifesto-type feel, which suits it well. Vehemently creative, it inadvertently taps into some of the best aspects of our species. Botanist’s website.
Say what you will about whiteboys and the blues, the bass tone that starts “Nobody Get Me Down” is unfuckwithable. And Seattle trio GravelRoad come by it pretty honestly, having served for years as the backing back for bluesman T-Model Ford. The album Psychedelta (on Knick Knack Records) jams out on its start-stop fuzz in a way that reminds not so much of Clutch but of the soul and funk records that inspired Clutch in the first place, and though it never gets quite as frenetic in its energy as Radio Moscow, there’s some of that same vibe persisting through “Keep on Movin’” or their Junior Kimbrough cover “Leave Her Alone.” Throaty vocals sound like a put-on, but if they can nail down that balance, GravelRoad‘s psychedelic blues has some real potential in its open spaces. GravelRoad on Thee Facebooks.
The Linus Pauling Quartet, Bag of Hammers
Texas toast. The Linus Pauling Quartet offer crisp sunbursts of psychedelic heavy rock, and after nearly 20 years and eight full-lengths, that shouldn’t exactly be as much of a surprise as it is. Nonetheless, Bag of Hammers(Homeskool Records) proffers a 41-minute collection of heady ’90s-loving-the-’70s tones while venturing into classic space rock on “Victory Gin” and ballsy riffing on “Saving Throw.” Being my first experience with the band, the album is a refreshing listen and unpretentious to its very core. Eight-minute culminating jam “Stonebringer” is as engaging a display of American stoner rock as I’ve heard this year, and I have to wonder why it took eight records before I finally heard this five-man quartet? Hits like its title. LP4′s website.
Odyssey, Abysmal Despair
It’s the damnedest thing, but listening to Abysmal Despair, the Transubstans Records debut from Swedish prog sludge/noise rockers Odyssey, I can’t help but think of Long Island’s own John Wilkes Booth. It’s the vocals, and I know that’s a really specific association most people aren’t going to have, but I do, and I can’t quite get past it. The album is varied, progressive, and working in a variety of modern underground heavy contexts nowhere near as foreboding as the album’s title might imply, like Truckfighters meets Entombed, but I just keep hearing JWB‘sKerry Merkle through his megaphone. Note: that’s not a bad thing, just oddly indicative of the greater sphere of worldwide sonic coincidence in which we all exist. If anything, that just makes me like Abysmal Despair more. Odyssey on Soundcloud.
Palkoski, 2012 Demo
Conceptual Virginian free-formers Palkoski released the three-track/67-minute 2012 demo earlier this year through Heavy Hound. Most of it sounds improvised, but for verses here and there that emerge from the various stretches, and the band’s alternately grinding and sparse soundscapery results in an unsettling mash of psychotic extremity. It is, at times, painful to listen, but like some lost tribal recording, it’s also utterly free. Limited to 100 CDs with a second track called “The Shittiest EP Ever” and a third that’s a sampling of Palkoski‘s ultra-abrasive noise experimentation live, this one is easily not for the faint of heart. Still, there’s something alluring in the challenge it poses. Palkoski at Heavy Hound.
Radar Men from the Moon, Echo Forever
Following their charming 2011 EP, Intergalactic Dada and Space Trombones, the Eindhoven instrumental trio Radar Men from the Moon (On the Radar’ed here) return on the relative quick with a 51-minute full-length, Echo Forever. More progressive in its jams, the album’s psychedelic sprawl shows the band developing — I hesitate to compare them to 35007 just because they happen to be Dutch, but the running bassline that underscores “Atomic Mother” is a tempter — but there’s still an immediacy behind their changes that keeps them from really belonging to the laid-back sphere of European jam-minded heavy psychedelia. They’re getting warmer though, stylistically and tonally, and I like that. Interesting to hear a song like “Heading for the Void” and think Sungrazer might be burgeoning as an influence. Cool jams for the converted. Radar Men from the Moon on Bandcamp.
Sound of Ground, Sky Colored Green
There are elements of of Yawning Man, or Unida or other acts in the Californian desert milieu, but basically, Moscow’s Sound of Ground sound like Kyuss. They know it. Their R.A.I.G. debut full-length, Sky Colored Green, makes no attempt to hide it, whether it’s the “Green Machine” riffing of “Lips of the Ocean” or the speedier Slo-Burnery of “El Caco,” though the metallic screaming on “R.H.S.” is a dead giveaway for the band’s youth, coming off more like early Down than anything Josh Homme ever plugged in to play. While not necessarily original, the trio are firm in their convictions, and Sound of Ground tear through these 11 tracks with engaging abandon. The Russian scene continues to intrigue. Sound of Ground on Thee Facebooks.
One thing about Scott Heller (aka Dr. Space): The dude loves him some space. In his second “Altered States” column for The Obelisk, the Øresund Space Collective jammer takes a song-by-song look at the underrated Pleasant Journey in Heavy Tunes, released in 2000 by Danish outfit Gas Giant. Heller was intimately familiar with the band from their days as Blind Man Bluff, and one can almost feel the grooves of the songs themselves reading his review.
Hope you enjoy:
GAS GIANT- PLEASANT JOURNEY IN HEAVY TUNES (Burnt Hippie Records BHR-003/Loudsprecher LSD043)
While this Danish psychedelic stoner space rock band does not officially exist anymore (the three main guys still play together and make music), in 2000, they released this all time classic record. I met the guys back in 1998, when the band was still called Blind Man Buff. They started BMB in the mid-‘90s after disbanding the ZZ Top cover band, Tube Snake Boogie. These guys were really hard working and from 1995-2001, were meeting three days a week to jam and make songs and listen to Fu Manchu, Monster Magnet, Kyuss, Black Sabbath, etc… They would occasionally come out and play live as well but not that often.
In 1999, I started hanging out with the band and recording a number of their rehearsals and all their live shows. In January, they entered the studio with local soundman and producer, Ralph Rjeily, (who recently passed away and I wrote a tribute piece to here on this site), where they recorded at the local Black Tornado Studios. These were some intense days as they jammed and laid down the basic tracks for this classic record. The big muff sound on the bass and guitar, with Stefan’s vintage Sound City head and late ‘60s Marshall cabinet was a mean, dirty, fucking heavy sound and pretty well captured on these raw recordings.
One of the things that made the record so intense was the really raw and in your face sound of the guitar and bass, which was mixed really up front, leaving the drummer Pete Hell, in the back but still audible.
The CD starts off with what is now a stoner rock classic, “Too Stoned” (it was the first song on the High times Magazine compilation, High Volume: The Stoner Rock Collection ). The band had previously recorded this song on the Blind Man Buff EP two years before but were not totally satisfied with it. It starts off with the sound of a water pipe as the main guitar riff enters before the killer bassline kicks in. The delays on Jesper’s voice also give it a really psychedelic feel. The main chorus arrives with a powerful Kyuss-like riff and Jesper ramps up the intensity in his vocal delivery as well. The midsection is very spacey and then the tune just takes off with a heavy groove and an uptempo ending.
“Sit Down” starts with the heavy bass before the monster guitar riff kicks in. The lyrics are always very interesting and strange and Jesper delivers a very powerful performance on every song with a catchy chorus that you can sing along to. This one is very raw, a bit looser, grooving but focused on being heavy. Stefan starts to let loose some guitar solos but just teasing you to start. Down the Highway has one of the most nasty guitar and heavy bass from this time period to start this track in this slow grooving track. The mid section slows almost to a stop and there are some spacey sounds before Pete kicks in with the drums again and Thomas leads the groove with the heavy bass line. “All Creatures” starts off with a very psychedelic effected vocal part before the killer groove just takes off again with that really fuzzed out, raw nasty sound. The mid section is really spacey with a lot more effects, delay vocals, cool guitar and heavy bass and then they just rock out like a mother fucker! ”The celebration is about to begin, may I have this dance…”
“Super Sun Trigger” is a very short, catchy and powerful song built on the killer flange guitar riff and sing-along chorus that just gets you hooked. Jesper sings in a bit more laid back fashion until the chorus, “Rescue me/The super sun trigger is coming to you.” “Desert Call” is actually quite an old song of the band’s dating back to 1996. It slows things down a lot but has a real basic easygoing feel and you eventually get hooked. Thomas’s bass line is so intense in the mix, really in your face. “Freak Sensation” is another fuzzed out number with a catchy groove. Jesper has an added effect on the vocal and like “Down the Highway,” the band space out in the middle (live this was often really far out and cool), with Thomas playing some wah bass and Stefan some nasty soloing (what a sound!) before they kick it into high gear and take off again.
The regular CD ends with one of my favourite Gas Giant songs, “Storm of My Enemies,” which used to develop into monster jams live, sometimes over 20 minutes! It is a slow, psychedelic track and when the main guitar riff kicks in complimented by the bass, it is very powerful. Thomas even plays the didgeridoo on this one in the sections before the main riff takes hold. Heavy, intense, psychedelic. The CD features an unlisted track called “Holy Walker,” which was completely conceived in the studio. It is a sort of an electric ballad that came up very spontaneously and features some great guitar and passionate vocals.
Unfortunately for those who never got to see this band live, they were a real mean machine and the songs here were never played like they are on the record and Stefan always did a lot more guitar soloing live and jamming. Lucky for you guys, I recorded nearly ever live concert they played from 1999 until 2005. You can find them atwww.archive.orgunder the Live concert archive. Check out the concert from Leipzeig 2002 for a real blast. The band who made the Mana record (Elektrohasch, 2003) have reunited for a couple of special shows here in Denmark in 2012 but it is unlikely to lead to a full reunion as the guys are busy with other music projects and family obligations.
Posted in Whathaveyou on September 13th, 2012 by H.P. Taskmaster
Not exactly the timeliest reference, but I’ll give it to Øresund Space Collective anyway, because their endless space jams are so damn spacy. The amorphous Copenhagen unit will issue their 14th album, Give Your Brain a Rest from the Matrix, in a digipak on Oct. 11.
The prolific jammers may not always have the same lineup, but their vibe-heavy approach never fails to satisfy. Give Your Brain a Rest from the Matrixwas recorded in 2010 and features members of Siena Root along with Dr. Space and his merry band of tripped-out weirdos. Dig it:
ØRESUND SPACE COLLECTIVE To Release ‘Give Your Brain A Rest From The Matrix’ On October 10th, Follows Tour
Give Your Brain A Rest From The Matrix is a limited edition CD digipak and digital only release with a potential for a double LP release in the future. It is the 14th proper release by the Øresund Space Collective. The music on this release was born on Sept 26th, 2010, the same recording session as the Entering into the Space Country and Phaze your Fears.
Dr. Space says: “This was the third day of the studio session and KG from Siena Root had arrived and we were ready for some serious sitar jams. Three out of the four tracks feature sitar. PIB played the drums, Nick played the bass and they were joined by me and Mogens on synthesizer, Johan Dahlström (First Band from Outer Space), Mathias Danielsson (My Brother the Wind, Gösta Berlings Saga), well asClaus Bøhling (Hurdy Gurdy, Secret Oyster, Elektrum). KG plays guitar, Hammond, sitar and synthesizer. The music is 4 tracks, all between 10 and 25 minutes in length, with an eastern vibe and feeling and some amazing heart felt guitar. Steve, who mixed the record, provides one short synthesizer overdub on the last track on the CD.”
In addition, the band is about to kick off their first ever real tour (7 shows in 10 days). Dr. Space says: “I hope we will meet some of you on the tour. We will also have a special tour shirt made with the dates on the back. Whatever we don’t sell on the tour we will be available in the webshop. We also have 9 20x 30cm backpatches if you have some free space on your jacket!”
The tour dates are as follows:
13th Oct AKC Medika, Zagreb, Croatia
14th Oct Belgrade (with Temple of the Smoke) – this is the only one that is not set up or confirmed yet.
15th Oct Alarma Punk Jazz Fest No 8, New Alcohol Club, Sofia, Bulgaria
16th Oct Club Wire, Kumanovo, Macedonia
17th Free day
18th Oct – Maxkult, Salzburg, Austria (with Baby Woodrose!)