Quarterly Review: Katatonia, Marmalade Knives, King Witch, Glass Parallels, Thems That Wait, Sojourner, Udyat, Bismarck, Gral Brothers, Astral Glide

Posted in Reviews on July 9th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-qr-summer-2020

Welcome to the penultimate day of the Summer 2020 Quarterly Review. I can only speak for myself, but I know it’s been a crazy couple months on this end, and I imagine whatever end you’re on — unless and probably even if you have a lot of money — it’s been the same there as well. Yet, it was no problem compiling 50 records to review this week, so if there’s a lesson to be taken from it all, it would seem to be that art persists. We may still be painting on cave walls when it comes to the arc of human evolution, but at least that’s something.

Have a great day and listen to great music.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Katatonia, City Burials

katatonia city burials

Like their contemporaries in accounts assignment help - get a 100% original, plagiarism-free essay you could only dream about in our academic writing service Best HQ writing My Dying Bride and http://totaltheatre.org.uk/examples-of-research-proposals-in-nursing/. Well, there are several challenges that often make students question “who can do my assignment?” While it’s imperative that students should take assignment writing seriously as there’s a huge chunk of marks attached to the same. Paradise Lost, the latter-day period of work from Sweden’s Essaydoc.net offers you to choose a writer I need a professional to philosophy paper helper because I’m way too busy with other homework Katatonia veers back toward some measure of direct heaviness, as Assignment Minder - Proposals, essays & research papers of top quality. experience the benefits of qualified custom writing assistance City Burials showcases in cuts like “Rein,” “Heart Set to Divide” and “Behind the Blood,” but more than either of those others mentioned, the Stockholm outfit refuse to forsake the melody and progressivism they’ve undertaken with their sound in the name of doing so. By the time they get to “Untrodden” at the end of the album’s 50-minute/11-song run, they’ve run a gamut from dark electronica to progressive-styled doom and back again, and with the founding duo of guitarist Find freelance English Proofreading work on Upwork. 115 English What Are The Different Kinds Of Report Writing jobs are available. Anders Nyström and vocalist http://volnapodarkov.ru/?engineering-research-papers best college essay editing service. Leont ev, legal services dissertation are writing a. N activity, consciousness Jonas Renkse at the helm of the songwriting, they are definitive in their approach and richly emotive; a melancholy that is as identifiable in their songs as it is in the bands working under their influence. Their first work in four years, If Essay. Terrified by the only thought of writing your essay? Don't frustrate yourself by staring at a blank sheet of paper and waiting for City Burials is an assurance that Dissertation Point is the leading writing services give you chance to Dissertation In Steganography in UK, unlimited revisions & cheap prices. Katatonia are in firm ownership and command of all aspects of their sound. As they approach their 30th year, they continue to move forward. That’s a special band.

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Marmalade Knives, Amnesia

marmalade knives amnesia

Boasting production, mixing and percussion from andy warhol essay Literary Homework Help Persuasive Writing theme statement examples essay writing 10th class The Golden Grass abstracts for research papers - Instead of wasting time in unproductive attempts, receive professional assistance here #1 reliable and trustworthy Adam Kriney, Algebra Math Problems. Ranked #1 by 10,000 plus clients; for 25 years our certified resume writers have been developing compelling resumes, cover letters Marmalade Knives‘ debut album, help with accounting homework problems http://www.swapkit.ie/?sample-dissertation-proposal Paper attention grabber for essay relatedhttpwww completeessays Amnesia, is a delight of freaky-but-not-overblown heavy psychedelia. Oh, it’s headed far, far out, but as the opening narration and the later drones of second cut “Rivuleting” make plain, they might push, but they’re not trying to shove, if you know what I mean. The buzz in “Best-Laid Plans” doesn’t undercut the warmth of the improvised-seeming solo, and likewise, “Rebel Coryell” is a mellow drifter that caps side A with a graceful sense of wandering the soundscape of its own making. The vibe gets spacey on “Xayante,” and “Ez-Ra” touches on a funkier swing before seeming to evolve into light as one does, and the 10-minute “Astrology Domine” caps with noise and a jammed out feel that underscores the outbound mood of the proceedings as a whole. Some of the pieces feel like snippets cut from longer jams, and they may or may not be just that, but though it was recorded in three separate locations, source link. american essay writing companies American essay writing companies, victorian primary homework help, eureka math homework helper grade 1Apr 14, 2015 Since academic writing is becoming one of the most prominent aspects of the educational system, the constant development of the custom-writing industry is clearly justified. Amnesia draws together well and flows easily, inviting the listener to do the same.

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King Witch, Body of Light

king witch body of light

Edinburgh’s Buy College Application Essay Music - Why worry about the essay? order the required help on the website If you want to find out how to compose a top-notch King Witch toe the line between classic metal and doom, but whatever you want to call them, just make sure you don’t leave out the word “epic.” The sweeping solo and soaring vocals on the opening title-track set the stage on their second LP, the hour-long advancing physics materials coursework help - 100% non-plagiarism guarantee of exclusive essays & papers. confide your report to professional scholars working in the service Get Body of Light, and as much mastery as the band showed on their 2018 debut, Under the Mountain (review here), vocalist Laura Donnelly, guitarist Jamie Gilchrist, bassist Rory Lee and drummer Lyle Brown lay righteous waste to lofty expectations and bask in grandiosity on “Of Rock and Stone” and the linear-moving “Solstice I – She Burns,” the payoff of which is a high point of the album in its layered shred. Pieces like “Witches Mark” and “Order From Chaos” act as confirmation of their Euro-fest-ready fist-pumpery, and closer “Beyond the Black Gate” brings some atmosphere before its own headbang-worthy crescendo. Body of Light is a reminder of why you wanted to be metal in the first place.

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Glass Parallels, Aisle of Light

Glass Parallels Aisle of Light

Eminently listenable and repeat-worthy, Glass Parallels‘ debut LP, Aisle of Light, nonetheless maintains an experimentalist flair. The solo-project of Justin Pinkerton (Golden Void, Futuropaco), covers a swath of ground from acid folk to psych-funk to soul vibes, at times bordering on shoegaze but seeming to find more expressive energy in centerpiece “Asphyxiate” and the airy capper “Blood and Battlegrounds” than any sonic portrayal of apathy would warrant. United by keys, pervasive guitar weirdness and Pinkerton‘s at-times-falsetto vocals, usually coated in reverb as they are, Aisle of Light brings deceptive depth for being a one-man production. Its production is spacious but still raw enough to give the drums an earthy sound as they anchor the synth-laden “March and April,” which is probably fortunate since otherwise the song would be liable to float off and not return. One way or another, the songs stand out too much to really be hypnotic, but they’re certainly fun to follow.

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Thems That Wait, Stonework

thems that wait stonework

Stonework is the self-aware debut full-length from Portland, Maine, trio Thems That Wait, and it shoulders itself between clenched-teeth metallic aggression and heavier fuzz rock. They’re not the first to tread such ground and they know it, but “Sidekick” effectively captures Scissorfight-style groove, and “Kick Out” is brash enough in its 1:56 to cover an entire record’s worth of burl. Interludes “Digout” and “Vastcular” provide a moment to catch your breath, which is appreciated, but when what they come back with is the sure-fisted “Paragon” or a song like “Shitrograde,” it really is just a moment. They close with “Xmortis,” which seems to reference Evil Dead II in its lyrics, which is as good as anything else, but from “Sleepie Hollow” onward, guitarist/vocalist Craig Garland, bassist Mat Patterson and drummer Branden Clements find their place in the dudely swing-and-strike of riffs, crash and snarl, and they do so with a purely Northeastern attitude. This is the kind of show you might get kicked at.

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Sojourner, Premonitions

sojourner premonitions

Complexity extends to all levels of Sojourner‘s third album and Napalm Records debut, Premonitions, in that not only does the band present eight tracks and 56 minutes of progressive and sprawling progressive black metal, varied in craft and given a folkish undercurrent by Chloe Bray‘s vocals and tin whistle, but also the sheer fact that the five-piece outfit made the album in at least five different countries. Recording remotely in Sweden, New Zealand, Scotland and Italy, they mixed/mastered in Norway, and though one cringes at the thought of the logistical nightmare that might’ve presented, Sojourner‘s resultant material is lush and encompassing, a tapestry of blackened sounds peppered with clean and harsh singing — Emilio Crespo handles the screams — keyboards, and intricate rhythms behind sprawling progressions of guitar. At the center of the record, “Talas” and “Fatal Frame” (the shortest song and the longest) make an especially effective pair one into the other, varied in their method but brought together by viciously heavy apexes. The greatest weight, though, might be reserved for closer “The Event Horizon,” which plods where it might otherwise charge and brings a due sense of largesse to the finale.

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Udyat, Oro

udyat oro

The order of the day is sprawl on Udyat‘s recorded-live sophomore LP, Oro, as the Argentinian outfit cast a wide berth over heavy rock and terrestrial psych, the 13-minute “Sangre de Oro” following shorter opener “Los Picos de Luz Eterna” (practically an intro at a bit over six minutes) with a gritty flourish to contrast the tonal warmth that returns with the melodic trance-induction at the start of “Los Ăşltimos.” That song — the centerpiece of the five-track outing — tops 15 minutes and makes its way into a swell of fuzz with according patience, proceeding through a second stage of lumbering plod before a stretch of noise wash leads pack to the stomp. The subsequent “DespuĂ©s de los Pasos, el Camino Muere” is more ferocious by its end and works in some similar ground, and closer “Nacimiento” seems to loose itself in a faster midsection before returning to its midtempo roll. Oro borders on cosmic doom with its psychedelic underpinnings and quiet stretches, but its movement feels ultimately more like walking than floating, if that makes any sense.

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Bismarck, Oneiromancer

Bismarck Oneiromancer

To anyone who might suggest that extreme metal cannot also be forward-thinking, Bismarck submit the thoughtful bludgeon of Oneiromancer, a five-song/35-minute aesthetic blend that draws from doom, death, hardcore and sundry other metals, while keeping its identity in check through taut rhythm and atmospheric departures. Following the chants of opening intro “Tahaghghogh Resalat,” the Chris Fielding-produced follow-up to Bismarck‘s 2018 debut, Urkraft (review here), showcases an approach likewise pummeling and dynamic, weighted in ambience and thud alike. “Oneiromancer” itself starts with blastbeats and a plundering intensity before breaking into a more open midsection, but “The Seer” is absolutely massive. Despite being shorter than either the title-track or “Hara,” both of which top nine minutes, and closer “Khthon” underscores the blood-boiling tension cast throughout with one last consuming plod. Fucking raging. Fucking awesome. Pure sonic catharsis. Salvation through obliteration. If these are dreams being divined as the title hints, the mind is a limitless and terrifying place. Which, yes.

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The Gral Brothers, Caravan East

gral brothers caravan east

I won’t say it’s seamless or intended to be, but as Albuquerque, New Mexico, two-piece The Gral Brothers make their initial move on Caravan East between cinematic Americana and industrial brood, samples of dialogue on “Cactus Man” and violin in the seven-minute soundscaper “In Die Pizzeria” seem to draw together both a wistfulness and a paranoia of the landlocked. Too odd to fall in line with the Morricone-worship of Cali’s Spindrift, “Crowbar” brings Spaghetti West and desert dub together with a confidence that makes it seem like a given pairing despite the outwardly eerie vibes and highly individualized take, and “Santa Sleeves” is beautiful to its last, even if the lone bell jingle is a bit much, while “Silva Lanes” pushes even further than did “Circuit City” into mechanized experimental noisemaking. They end with the birdsong-inclusive “Ode to Marge,” leaving one to wonder whether it’s sentiment or cynicism being expressed. Either way, it’s being expressed in a way not quite like anything else, which is an accomplishment all on its own.

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Astral Glide, Flamingo Graphics

astral glide flamingo graphics

When you’re at the show and the set ends, Flamingo Graphics is the CD you go buy at the merch table. It’s as simple as that. Recorded this past March over the course of two days, the debut album from Floridian foursome Astral Glide is raw to the point of being barebones, bootleg room-mic style, but the songwriting and straightforward purposes of the group shine through. They’re able to shift structures and mood enough to keep things from being too staid, but they’re never far off from the next heavy landing, as “Devastation” and the closer “Forever” show in their respective payoffs, that latter going all out with a scream at the end, answering back to the several others that show up periodically. While their greatest strength is in the mid-paced shove of rockers like “Space Machine” and “Scarlett” and the speedier “Workhorse,” there are hints of broader intentions on Flamingo Graphics, though they too are raw at this point. Very much a debut, but still one you pick up when the band finishes playing. You might not even wait until the end of the show. Meet them back at the table, and so on.

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Red Mesa Premiere “Desert Moon”; The Path to the Deathless out June 12

Posted in audiObelisk, Reviews on May 12th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

red mesa

New Mexico’s Red Mesa will issue their third long-player, The Path to the Deathless, on June 12 through guitarist/vocalist Brad Frye‘s own Desert Records label. The seven-tracker runs 40 minutes and makes a curious impression on first go, subsequently opening up to the listener in terms of its ambition. That is, as much as Red Mesa pledge allegiance to the idea and ideals of desert rock in their name and that of Frye‘s imprint, they’re not through the two-and-a-half-minute opening intro “Ghost Bell” — the actual bell of which, yes, is answered toward the end of closer “Swallowed by the Sea” — before they’ve introduced elements like harsher shouting vocals behind Frye‘s croon and a flourish of violin that comes up again later.

Certainly the title-track and subsequent “Desert Moon” have their riffy roots right on their sleeve for all to see — the band even notes below that the latter is a direct play on Kyuss — but at the same time, “The Path to the Deathless” echoes out its midsection like drifting Monster Magnet, and Frye, bassist/vocalist Alex Cantwell and drummer/backing vocalist Roman Barham bridge a large flyover gap in bringing aboard Earthride frontman Dave Sherman (also Spirit Caravan, Galactic Cross, Weed is Weed, etc.), who reigns as one of the principal figures in Maryland doom, to sing and provide lyrics on “Desert Moon.”

So clearly we’re not just taking about a desert rock record here.

red mesa the path to the deathlessPulling the rug out from under expectation isn’t new for Red Mesa. Their 2018 sophomore outing, The Devil and the Desert (review here) manifested half in roaring grooves and half in subdued acoustic form — a stylistic theme The Path to the Deathless centerpiece “Death I Am” continues and pushes further toward country via pedal steel guitar and twanging lead vocals — so they’re obviously comfortable reaching beyond sandier landscapes. And on repeat listens, The Path to the Deathless not only bring those melodic, quieter and heavier rocking sides together in a more cohesive fashion than its predecessor, it continues the outward push.

The violin — contributed by Kristen Rad, who wins as far as surnames go — throws open the context of The Path to the Deathless right at the outset, giving a tie to post-metal Ă  la SubRosa that, like the bell on “Ghost Bell,” also finds an answer and realization as part of the album-encompassing-summary that is the finishing track “Swallowed by the Sea” (there’s more pedal steel there too). At the same time, Red Mesa aren’t shy about their appreciation for the finer things as regards rock. Scott “Wino” Weinrich (Spirit Caravan, The Obsessed, etc.) shreds “Disharmonious Unlife” to bits in addition to contributing vocals to the piece — another East/West tie-in for side B — and Red Mesa strip back to the bare trio for the all-out penultimate thruster “Revelation,” as if to cleanse the palette ahead of the undertaking that is the nine-minute finale to follow.

Bottom line? There’s a lot going on with The Path to the Deathless, and that’s before you even get to the overarching spiritual theme of the work, exploring life and death as the three-piece are, or the fact that this is their first offering with Cantwell in the lineup and the dynamic shift that brings in terms of he, Frye and Barham all working together on vocals and providing further variety there. Can one song on the album hope to capture all of that? Well, the “Swallowed by the Sea” comes close, but even that doesn’t encapsulate the bicoastal aspects of the Sherman and Wino appearances, so when it comes to giving a sampling of the whole, there isn’t really a single track that does the job. So we might as well groove.

Enter “Desert Moon,” which you’ll find premiering on the player below courtesy of Red Mesa‘s Bandcamp. As noted, Frye, Barham and Sherman all check in with some perspective about the track, and you’ll find that down there in blue.

Hope you dig it:

Brad Frye on “Desert Moon”:

“‘Desert Moon’ is Desert Rock meets Doom. The main riff is like a backwards Kyuss riff. The chorus is an ode to Maryland Doom. The bridge is a psychedelic journey. Red Mesa wrote the music, Dave Sherman wrote the lyrics and sung all the vocals. This was pure collaboration magic. Much love to Dave for being on this. He absolutely killed the vocals and nailed the desert vibes.”

Roman Barham on “Desert Moon”:

“We wanted to have some great special guests on our new album. Dave Sherman came up right away since he was a good friend, and both a badass frontman and musician. To have Sherman a part of ‘Desert Moon’ was both an honor and was very humbling. He crushes on this song and makes it come alive. I fucking love his lyrics. East meets West.”

Dave Sherman on “Desert Moon”:

“Recording and performing for the Red Mesa project was so badass because it mixed East Coast and Southwest styles together. This turned out to be a monster song, in my opinion. Having John ‘Johnny Wretched’ Koutsioukis on board tracking it for us made it pure Maryland doom for the brotherhood of music.”

“THE PATH TO THE DEATHLESS” the third studio album by the Albuquerque, NM band will be released by DESERT RECORDS on June 12th.

This album is a concept record about death and beyond. Death and dying are harsh realities of the physical world, but the soul and spirit lives on through the “deathless”.

The album was recorded, engineered, and produced by Matthew Tobias at Empty House Studio (who has recorded albums by (OM, AL CISNEROS, SUPERGIANT) in January and February of 2020. The album was mastered by John McBain (original MONSTER MAGNET guitarist).

1. Ghost Bell
2. The Path To The Deathless
3. Desert Moon (Feat. Dave Sherman)
4. Death I Am
5. Disharmonious Unlife (Feat. Wino)
6. Revelation
7. Swallowed By The Sea

Red Mesa is:
Brad Frye: guitar, vocals
Roman Barham: drums, backup vocals
Alex Cantwell: bass, vocals

Plus:
Wino: Vocals and Lead Guitars on “Disharmonious Unlife”
Dave Sherman: All Vocals on “Desert Moon”
Kristen Rad: Violin on “Ghost Bell” and “Swallowed by the Sea”
Alex McMahon: Pedal Steel on “Death I Am and “Swallowed by the Sea”
Steve Schmidlapp: Acoustic Guitar on “Death I Am”

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Album Review: Various Artists, Women of Doom

Posted in Reviews on May 11th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Various Artists Women of Doom

As a genre, doom is a long way from gender parity. It’s perhaps an optimistic viewpoint to take to say that the current generation of bands is past the point of seeing women artists as a novelty or downplaying their contributions to male bandmates or counterparts, but frankly I’m not even sure that’s true on a universal level. The inherent sexualization of performance — often willfully and hilariously ignored by men watching other men on stage — subjects women artists to a masculine gaze that at times is problematic even as it also serves as an expression of feminine power. As to what it means to be a woman artist in “doom,” or as to what “doom” is — where it starts and ends — I’m no one to speak to either experience, so I look at the Women of Doom compilation, highlighting women artists in and out their respective bands, as kind of a sad celebration. It’s well worth underscoring the stylistic contributions these women are making — and in a society that saw women paid 79 cents per every dollar a man made in 2019, well worth giving women every nod they can get, if not things like universal health coverage and reproductive rights — but a bit of a bummer that we’re not in a place where the norm would make such a compilation superfluous.

Whatever else doom is, it’s not there, but if Blues Funeral Recordings and Desert Records — both labels run by men, speaking of areas where women are underrepresented — wanted to, they could easily turn Women of Doom into a series. While Women of Doom brings together luminaries such as Amy Tung Barrysmith of Year of the Cobra, Doomstress Alexis of Doomstress, Mlny Parsonz of Royal Thunder and introduces two projects of former SubRosa members in The Otolith and Rebecca Vernon‘s The Keening, along with bands like Heavy Temple, Frayle, Sweden’s Besvärjelsen and France/Ireland’s Deathbell, there are a few conspicuous absences. Perhaps most glaringly, Windhand frontwoman, Dorthia Cottrell, is nowhere to be found, likewise an all-women act like Blackwater Holylight. And the same goes for a generational pioneer like Lori S. of Acid King, but it is inevitably a positive to say that it would be nearly impossible for Women of Doom — in a single go — to be so comprehensive. And as it is, the comp does well in setting an atmosphere across its full tracklisting, which reads as follows:

1. Nighthawk and Heavy Temple – Astral Hand 05:12
2. Amy Tung Barrysmith – Broken 06:04
3. Besvärjelsen – A Curse to be Broken 06:47
4. Mlny Parsonz – A Skeleton is Born 04:57
5. Frayle – Marrow 04:53
6. The Otolith – Bone Dust 04:31
7. Doomstress Alexis – Facade 04:47
8. Deathbell – Coldclaw 04:24
9. The Keening – A Shadow Covers Your Face 05:05
10. Mlny Parsonz – Broke An Arrow (Bonus) 03:25

Various Artists Women of Doom lp

The accomplishment of Women of Doom finding cohesion despite the variety of songwriting and performance modes is not to be understated. Beginning with Heavy Temple — here billed as Nighthawk and Heavy Temple — taking on a purely classic epic doom sound with the willfully Candlemassian “Astral Hand” sets a high bar, as grandiosity suits the Philly unit almost oddly well. They are maybe the odd-band-out in terms of aesthetic on Women of Doom, which is doubly ironic given “Astral Hand” is the most traditionally doomed song on the nine-plus-one-tracker and it’s not a style Heavy Temple generally play, but the darkened atmosphere they build sees immediate flourish in the piano-led composition “Broken” by Amy Tung Barrysmith, who only confirms through her work here that Year of the Cobra have only just begun their greater creative exploration. As one of two non-US acts present, Besvärjelsen are, as ever, a showcase for the vocal presence of Lea Amling Alazam, but their moodier post-doom on “A Curse to Be Broken” picks up well from “Broken” in more than just the similarity of titles.

By the time it’s a third of the way through, Women of Doom has already run a marked gamut in sound and dynamic, and that’s pretty clearly the intent of the thing. As arguably the most known performer featured, Mlny Parsonz, bassist/vocalist of Atlanta’s Royal Thunder brings a boozy classic rock powerhouse delivery to “A Skeleton is Born.” She returns for the bonus track “Broke an Arrow” in more subdued fashion to close out, and if mainstream rock and roll needed a woman figurehead — which it does, badly — she’d be a good candidate for the position in terms of craft; her work is equal parts dangerous and accessible. Frayle‘s “Marrow” carries mystique as a defining element, and The Otolith and Doomstress Alexis make a fitting pair for their use of strings. For The Otolith, that’s a trait inherited fairly enough from SubRosa, but it’s something of a surprise from Doomstress Alexis, who meets it with a likewise unexpected thrashiness in her guitar. Though maybe not as well known as some of the others, Deathbell stand out in such a way as to leave little to wonder why Kozmik Artifactz picked up their 2018 debut, With the Beyond, for a vinyl release. Their “Coldclaw” does not come from that outing, so perhaps portends something new in the works, and if so, is all the more welcome.

As the first offering from The Keening, “A Shadow Covers Your Face” is of particular interest, as was The Otolith‘s “Bone Dust,” but both projects have in common a nascent feel. That’s particularly true of The Keening‘s inclusion, which is a relatively minimal work of solo piano, placed in a way that answers Amy Tung Barrysmith‘s “Broken” earlier but has the distinction of being instrumental. Both works are evocative, but Rebecca Vernon‘s piano in “A Shadow Covers Your Face” seems to use the otherwise unfilled space surrounding it as an instrument unto itself. That shift in presentation at the conclusion is a well placed reminder of the breadth of what greater gender equity in heavy music has to offer, though frankly, if the case needs to be made by then — or at all — you as the listener have probably missed the point. Still, at its most basic level, removed from a context that sees women continually objectified and typecast in artwork, bands, and listener expectations, Women of Doom is a collection of new and encouraging tracks from a diverse array of up and coming artists and acts. Even the most established artist here, which is Parsonz, is reaching beyond what she’s done before, and that too is an important message that shouldn’t be ignored.

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Book of Wyrms Sign to Desert Records; Announce Occult/New Age LP

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 27th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The aptly-named desert-dwelling imprint Desert Records continues to build its roster with the addition of Richmond, Virginia, tonebringers Book of Wyrms. The four-piece currently have two full-lengths under their collective belt in last year’s Remythologizer (review here) and 2017’s preceding Sci-Fi/Fantasy (review here), and in addition to the signing, the band announce their intention to hit the studio for a third LP, to be titled Occult/New Age, presumably as soon as conditions allow. Here’s what they had to say:

“We are so stoked and honored to work with Bradley Frye and Desert Records on our upcoming third album, Occult/New Age, to be recorded hopefully this summer or fall!”

The two earlier releases came out through Twin Earth Records and Stoner With Records in the case of the latter, and the band also followed up Remythologizer with the single “Spirit Drifter” in 2019, which of course you can hear on the Bandcamp player below,, following more bio-type info from, of course, the PR wire.

Kudos to the band and label, and here’s looking forward to new stuff to come:

book of wyrms

Book of Wyrms is a four-piece heavy metal band with extensive experience jamming in outer space. In 2014 they came together over their mutual adoration of Hawkwind and ZZ Top and then put out a demo in early 2015. It got some positive attention and helped them find their label, Twin Earth Records.

On New Year’s Day, 2017, Americans everywhere stumbled out of each other’s beds to the surprise release of Book of Wyrms’ first full-length, Sci-Fi/Fantasy. The record received even more positive attention and helped the band get shows around the East Coast, New England, the South, and the Midwest. Their second full-length, Remythologizer, came out in August 2019 on tape, cd, and vinyl.

Members:
Sarah Moore-Lindsey: Vocals and synthesizers
Kyle Lewis: Guitar
Chris DeHaven: Drums
Jay “Jake” Lindsey: Bass

https://www.facebook.com/Bookofwyrms/
https://instagram.com/bookofwyrms
https://bookofwyrms.bandcamp.com/

Book of Wyrms, “Spirit Drifter”

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Red Mesa Finish Recording The Path to the Deathless; Album out May 1

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 10th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Multi-directional Albuquerque trio Red Mesa, who are just as likely as not to roll with heavy riffing or acoustic bluesy vibes, are done with their new record, which has been given the title The Path to the Deathless. It’s set to release on May 1 as the follow-up to 2018’s debut, The Devil and the Desert (review here). They’re reasonably tight-lipped at this point about what the album actually sounds like, but it’s a concept record or at least seems to be working on a couple of set themes, and it’s got Maryland doom kingpin Dave Sherman from Earthride, Weed is Weed, Galactic Cross, etc., doing guest vocals, so that’s an automatic win in my book.

The band will head east for New England Stoner and Doom Fest this Spring, and I’m kind of expecting a few more dates to be announced around that — it would be crazy to drive from New Mexico to Connecticut for one show, but weirder things have happened in the universe — but nothing’s come through as yet that I’ve seen. Will keep an eye out and The Path to the Deathless is something in itself to look forward to in the meantime.

Here’s the latest off the PR wire:

red mesa in studio

Red Mesa has finished recording new album “The Path To The Deathless”.

The heavy desert rock band, Red Mesa has finished recording the new songs for their next full length album, “The Path To The Deathless”.

The album was recorded at Empty House Studio in January and early February 2020 with engineer/producer Matthew Tobias. The band had Tobias at the helm for their last three releases including the “Breathe” cover for Magnetic Eye Records’ Best of Pink Floyd, their last full-length “The Devil and The Desert”.

“The Path To The Deathless” will be a concept record about death and eternity. The album will be released on Desert Records on May 1st 2020.

Red Mesa is playing The New England Stoner and Doom Fest in May. Tour dates and album details will be coming in the following months. In the meantime, the band has invited you to watch the recording process via their social media pages.

While the new album is being recorded, the band has officially released a music video from The Devil and The Desert album. The new music video of “Route 666” will keep fans happy and excited for all new material.

The new album will feature bass player Alex Cantwell for the first time as he joins singer and guitarist Brad Frye and drummer Roman Barham in the studio.

Guest appearances! The album will feature guest vocals from Doom veteran Dave Sherman (Earthride, Galactic Cross, Weed Is Weed). Sherman performs the vocals on a “Desert-meets-Doom” song called ‘Desert Moon’. Alex McMahon (GRAL Brothers), who played on the entire first half of The Devil and The Desert, has laid down pedal steel on two tracks. Kristen Rad, a highly talented violinist, contributed to the opening and ending tracks.

“The Path To The Deathless” is the next step of evolution for the band that is heavy and psychedelic, yet unpredictable. Red Mesa says this will be their “heaviest album yet”. By picking up where Side B of “The Devil and The Desert” left off, the next record takes you where Heavy Metal meets Desert Rock meets Doom.

Red Mesa is:
Brad Frye: guitar, vocals
Roman Barham: drums, backup vocals
Alex Cantwell: bass, vocals

https://www.facebook.com/redmesaband/
https://www.instagram.com/redmesaband/
https://redmesarock.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/desertrecordslabel/
https://desertrecords.bandcamp.com/
https://desertrecords.bigcartel.com/

Red Mesa, “Route 666” official video

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Red Mesa Premiere “Route 666” Video; New Album Written

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 14th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

red mesa

As announced last month, Albuquerque, New Mexico, heavy rockers Red Mesa started writing material for their next album — they just finished this past weekend, by way of an update — as yet untitled, which will be out presumably later this year also-presumably through guitarist Brad Frye‘s Desert Records imprint. Well, that’s still neat news and all, but again, it was last month, which also makes it last year, which basically makes it ancient history even though the album in question hasn’t happened yet — behold the internet age! — and so it’s onward to the next thing, which also happens to be the last thing.

Yes, before Red Mesa — the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Brad Frye, drummer/backing vocalist Roman Barham and bassist/vocalist Irish Cantwell — set themselves to the task of recording the band’s second LP, they’re giving the first one a proper sendoff. Thus arrives their new video for “Route 666,” the penultimate track from Red Mesa‘s 2018 debut, The Devil and the Desert (review here), which you’ll recall was split into semi-acoustic and harder-hitting halves. As the immediate fuzz riff of “Route 666” tells you, the track comes from the heavy half of the record, and that’s just fine.

The secondary point the track raises in bidding farewell to The Devil and the Desert is that Red Mesa are much more of a band now than they were when the debut was put together. Founded by Frye, the lineup at the time split just as Red Mesa was getting ready to hit the studio to record, so he and producer Matthew Tobias went ahead and made the album anyway with studio collaborators. It was a bold play and it made sense in how the record came out, but with Frye, Barham and Cantwell as a more established trio, it seems safe to me to expect a different dynamic from their follow-up. They’ve toured together and done shows both plugged and unplugged, and all that “makes a band” stuff is kind of a clichĂ© at this point, but it’s also true. I’ll be interested to hear how the second record moves forward from the first.

We’ve got a while to go before we get there, though I hear details are forthcoming in a couple weeks or so. In the interim, get all desert-y with “Route 666” on the embed below. More info follows.

Enjoy:

Red Mesa, “Route 666” official video premiere

From Red Mesa’s “The Devil and The Desert” album, ‘Route 666’ is fast and full of heavy, desert rock riffs. Inspired by the old north-south U.S. highway in the Four Corners regions of the United States southwest, Route 666 was known as the “Devil’s Highway”. Due to the New Mexico portion being known as a dangerous highway with a long history of death and violence, and a growing superstition of the highway being “evil”, Route 666 was renumbered in 2003 to Route 491.

The band was also inspired by the gritty charm of Albuquerque, and the weird tales along old Route 66 that weaves through the city. Crime, poverty, and Breaking Bad lifestyles mix with artistic creativity and a hungry music scene that is growing quickly in New Mexico’s only metropolis.

The music video was filmed and edited entirely by Hunter Dawson of Desert Dwellers. This video features Red Mesa members Brad Frye (guitar/vocals), Roman Barham (drums), Alex Cantwell (bass/vocals).

The music video captures shots of the Sandia Mountains that loom over the city of Albuquerque.
The live performance was filmed at the Taos Mesa Brewing in Taos, NM on August 30th, 2019.
The street shots are in Downtown Albuquerque on Central Ave.
The music venues and businesses that Red Mesa frequent and/or partner with are featured in the video such as Desert Records, Launchpad, Sister Bar, Arise Music and Coffee, and Bar Uno, and Monolith on the Mesa.

Red Mesa is:
Brad Frye: guitar, vocals
Roman Barham: drums, backup vocals
Irish Cantwell: bass, vocals

Red Mesa, The Devil and the Desert (2018)

Red Mesa on Thee Facebooks

Red Mesa on Instagram

Red Mesa on Bandcamp

Desert Records on Thee Facebooks

Desert Records on Bandcamp

Desert Records BigCartel store

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Quarterly Review: We Lost the Sea, Nebula Drag, Nothing is Real, Lotus Thief, Uncle Woe, Cybernetic Witch Cult, Your Highness, Deep Valley Blues, Sky Shadow Obelisk, Minus Green

Posted in Reviews on January 9th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

Yesterday was marked by a decisive lack of productivity. I got there, don’t get me wrong, but it took friggin’ forever to make it happen. I’m obviously hoping for a different result today and tomorrow. You would think 10 records is 10 records, but some days it’s easy flowing, bounce from one to the next without any trouble, and some days you’re me sitting there wondering how many times you can get away with using the word “style” in the same post. Punishing. The saving factor was that the music was good. Amazing how often that serves as the saving factor.

Just today and tomorrow left, so let’s dive in. Lots of different kinds of releases today, so keep your ears and mind open.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

We Lost the Sea, Triumph and Disaster

we lost the sea triumph and disaster

There is plenty of heavy post-rock floating — and I do mean floating — around these days, spreading ethereal and contemplative vibes hither and yon, but none have the emotional weight brought to bear instrumentally by Sydney, Australia’s We Lost the Sea. Across their 65-minute 2LP, Triumph and Disaster (on Translation Loss), the six-piece band recount a wordless narrative of the aftermath of the end of the world through the eyes of a mother and child on their last day. It is a touching and beautiful flow of sentiment, regret and weight that comes through the wash of three guitars and synth, bass and drums, and though 2015’s Departure Songs (review here, discussed here) worked in a similar vein in terms of style if not story, these seven tracks and 65 minutes are wholly distinguished by a willful-seeming progression on the part of the band and a patience and poise of execution as they alternate between longer and shorter pieces that only underscores how special their work truly is. At least the apocalypse is gorgeous.

We Lost the Sea on Thee Facebooks

Translation Loss store

 

Nebula Drag, Blud

nebula drag blud

Nothing against the progenitors of the form, but Nebula Drag seem with Blud to pull off the feat that Helmet never really could, bringing together a noise-rock derived dissonance of riff with a current of melody in the vocals and even moments of patience in the guitar to go along with the crunch of its more aggressive points. This inherently makes the Desert Records offering from the San Diego outfit a less outwardly intense affair than it might otherwise be, but songs like “Always Dying,” “Numb” and the closer “Mental” — as well as the album as a whole — are ultimately richer for it, and there’s still plenty of drive in opener “Dos Lados” and the shorter “Faces” and “What Went Wrong,” which arrive back to back on side B and lend the momentum that carries Nebula Drag through the remainder of the proceedings. It’s easy to hear to Blud superficially and pass it off as noise or heavy rock or this or that, but Nebula Drag earn and reward deeper listens in kind.

Nebula Drag on Thee Facebooks

Desert Records on Bandcamp

 

Nothing is Real, Pain is Joy

nothing is real pain is joy

Los Angeles oppressive and misanthropic noise project Nothing is Real manifested some of the harshest sounds I heard in 2019 on Only the Wicked are Pure (review here), and the just-months-later follow-up, Pain is Joy, reminds of the constant sensory assault under which we all seem to live. Across five extended tracks of increased production value — still raw, just not as raw — the band seems to be forming a coherent philosophical perspective in “Existence is Pain,” the guest-vocalized “Realms of Madness,” “Life is but a Dream,” “Pain is Joy,” and “We Must Break Free,” but if there’s a will to explain the punishment that is living, there’s not much by way of answer forthcoming in the sludgy riffing, grinding onslaught and surprising solo soar of “We Must Break Free,” instrumental as it is. Still, the fact that Pain is Joy allows for the possibility of joy to exist at all, in any form, ever, distinguishes it from its predecessor, and likewise the clearer sound and cogent expressive purpose. A focused attack suits Nothing is Real. I have the feeling it won’t be long before we find out where it takes the band next.

Nothing is Real on Thee Facebooks

Nothing is Real on Bandcamp

 

Lotus Thief, Oresteia

lotus thief Oresteia

If the name Oresteia isn’t immediately familiar, maybe “Agamemnon” will give some hint. San Francisco’s Lotus Thief, with their third full-length and second for Prophecy Productions, not only bring together progressive black metal, post-rock and drama-laced doom, but do so across eight-tracks and 38 minutes summarizing a 5th century Greek tragedy written in three parts. Ambitious? Yes. Successful? I’ll claim zero familiarity with the text itself, but for the eight-minute “Libation Bearers” alone — never mind any of the other immersive, beautiful wash the band emits throughout — I’m sure glad they’re engaging with it. Ambient stretches like “Banishment” and “Woe” and the barely-there “Reverence” add further character to the proceedings, but neither are “The Furies,” “Agamemnon,” “Sister in Silence” or subdued-but-tense closer “The Kindly Ones” lacking for atmosphere. Oresteia is grim, theatrical, stylistically forward-thinking and gorgeous. A perfect, perfect, perfect winter record.

Lotus Thief website

Prophecy Productions on Bandcamp

 

Uncle Woe, Our Unworn Limbs

Uncle Woe Our Unworn Limbs

Chugging, sprawling, and most of all reaching, the late-2019 debut LP, Our Unworn Limbs, from Ontario as-yet-solo-outfit Uncle Woe — composed, performed and recorded by Rain Fice — is one of marked promise, taking elements of modern progressive and cosmic doom from the likes of YOB‘s subtly angular riffing style and unfolding them across an emotionally resonant but still manageable 43-minute span. The stomp in “That’s How They Get You” is duly oppressive in following the opener “Son of the Queen,” but with the one-minute experiment “When the Night Fell Pt. 2” and jagged but harmonized “Mania for Breaking” ahead of 15-minute closer “Push the Blood Back In,” the record’s tumult and triumphs are presented with character and a welcome feeling of exploration. I would expect over time that the melodic basis and vocal presence Fice demonstrates in “Mania for Breaking” will continue to grow, but both are already significant factors in the success of that song and the album surrounding it, the first 20-plus minutes of which is spent mired in “Son of the Queen” and “That’s How They Get You,” as early proof of the sure controlling hand at the helm of the project. May it continue to be so.

Uncle Woe on Thee Facebooks

Uncle Woe on Bandcamp

 

Cybernetic Witch Cult, Absurdum ad Nauseam

cybernetic witch cult absurdam ad nauseam

Guitarist/vocalist Alex Wyld, bassist Doug MacKinnon and drummer Lewis May have processed the world around them and translated it into a riffy course of sci-fi and weirdo semi-prog thematics across Absurdum ad Nauseam. What else to call such a thing? At eight songs and 52 minutes, it stands astride the lines between heavy rock and doom and sludge in lengthier pieces like “The Cetacean,” “The Ivory Tower” and the finale “Hypercomputer Part 2,” yet when it comes to picking out discernible influences, one has to result to generalizations like Black Sabbath and Acrimony, the latter in the rolling largesse of “Spice” and “The Myth of Sisyphus” later on in the outing and the vocal effects there particularly, but neither is enough to give a sense of what Cybernetic Witch Cult are actually about in terms of the modernity of their approach and the it’s-okay-we-know-what-we’re-doing-just-trust-us vibe they bring as they rush through “Cromagnonaut” after the intro and “Hypercomputer Part 1.” I’m inclined to just go with it, which should tell you something in itself about the band’s ability to carry their listener through. They earn that trust.

Cybernetic Witch Cult on Thee Facebooks

Cybernetic Witch Cult on Bandcamp

 

Your Highness, Your Highness

Your Highness Your Highness

Heavy blues meets heavy metal on Your Highness‘ self-titled and self-released third album, collecting eight tracks that divide evenly across two sides of an LP, each half ending with a longer piece, whether it’s “Black Fever” (9:00) on side A or “Kin’s Blood” (14:14) on side B. Through these, in full-throttle movements like opener “Devil’s Delight” and “Rope as a Gift” and in nestled-in groovers like “The Flood” and “To Wood and Stone,” Your Highness don’t shy away from bringing a sense of atmosphere to their material, but maintain a focus on burl, gruffness and tonal weight, an aggressive undercurrent in a song like “Born Anew” — the riff to which is nonetheless particularly bluesy — being emblematic of the perspective on display throughout. It moves too fleetly to ever be considered entirely sludge, but Your Highness‘ 51-minute span is prone to confrontation just the same, and its ferocious aspects come to a head in satisfying fashion as the wash of crash pays off “Kin’s Blood,” shouts cutting through en route to a finish of acoustic guitar that lands as a reminder to release the breath you’ve been holding the whole time. Heavy stuff? Why yes, it is.

Your Highness on Thee Facebooks

Your Highness on Bandcamp

 

Deep Valley Blues, Demonic Sunset

Deep Valley Blues Demonic Sunset

Italy’s fervor for stoner rock is alive and well as represented in Demonic Sunset, the eight-song/34-minute debut full-length from Catanzaro’s Deep Valley Blues. Their sound works out to be more heavy rock than the desert one might imagine given the album cover, but that influence is still there, if beefed up tonally by guitarists Alessandro Morrone and Umberto Arena (the latter also backing vocals), bassist/vocalist Giando Sestito and drummer Giorgio Faini, whose fluid turns between propulsion and swing enable a song like “Dana Skully” to come together in its verse/chorus transitions. The penultimate nine-minute “Tired to Beg For” is an outlier among more straight-ahead songwriting, but they use the time well and close with the acoustic-led “Empire,” an encouraging showcase of sonic breadth to follow up on the start of “Lust Vegas” and a widening of the melodic range that one hopes Deep Valley Blues push further on subsequent releases. Centered around issues of mental health in terms of its lyrics, if somewhat vaguely, Demonic Sunset is a first LP that extends its focus to multiple levels while still keeping its feet on the ground in a way that will be familiar to experienced genre heads.

Deep Valley Blues on Thee Facebooks

Deep Valley Blues on Bandcamp

 

Sky Shadow Obelisk, The Satyr’s Path

sky shadow obelisk the satyrs path

You can toss a coin as to whether Sky Shadow Obelisk are death-doom or doom-death, but as you do, just keep an eye on the bludgeoning doled out by the solo-project of Rhode Island-based composer Peter Scartabello on his latest EP, The Satyr’s Path, because it is equal parts thorough and ferocious. Flourish of keys and melody adds a progressive edge to the proceedings across the five-track release, particularly in its two instrumentals, the centerpiece “Ouroboros” and the first half of closer “Shadow of Spring,” but amid the harnessed madness of “Chain of Hephaestus” — which from its lyrics I can only think of as a work song — and the one-two of “The Serpent’s Egg” and the title-track early on, those moments of letup carry a tension of mood that even the grand finish in “Shadow of Spring” seems to acknowledge. It’s been since 2015 that Scartabello last offered up a Sky Shadow Obelisk full-length. He shows enough scope here to cover an album’s worth of ground, but on the most basic level, I’d take more if it was on offer.

Sky Shadow Obelisk on Thee Facebooks

Yuggoth Records on Bandcamp

 

Minus Green, Equals Zero

Minus Green Equals Zero

Following up on a 2015 self-titled the material on Minus Green‘s sophomore album, Equals Zero, would seem to have at least in part been kicking around for a couple years, as the closer here, “Durial” (11:22) was released in a single version in 2016. Fair enough. If the other three cuts, opener “Primal” (9:58), “00” (11:51) and the penultimate “Kames” (10:08), have also been developed over that span, the extra rumination wouldn’t seem to have harmed them at all — they neither feel overthought to a point of staleness nor lack anything in terms of the natural vibe that their style of progressive instrumentalist heavy psychedelia warrants. The procession unfolds as a cleanly-structured LP with two songs per side arranged shorter-into-longer, and their sound is duly immersive to give an impression of exploration underway without being entirely jam-based in their structure. That is, listening to “00,” one gets the feeling it’s headed somewhere, which, fortunately it is. Where it and the record surrounding go ultimately isn’t revolutionary in aesthetic terms, but it is well performed and more than suitable for repeat visits. Contrary to the impression they might seek to give, it amounts to more than nothing.

Minus Green on Thee Facebooks

Kerberos Records website

 

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Red Mesa Begin Writing New Album; Playing Unplugged Set Dec. 19

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 18th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

red mesa

Tomorrow night — nothing like a timely post, am I right? — New Mexico’s Red Mesa will play their last show of 2019, and they’re doing something somewhat different for it. You might recall that the first half of their debut album, 2018’s The Devil and the Desert (review here), was a mostly-acoustic affair, not at all shy about bringing along some lap steel or twangy vibe. Well, that’s the set tomorrow night at Taos Mesa Brewing as the Monolith on the Mesa veterans wrap up their year. Obviously they’ve worked in this fashion before — you might say they made half an album that way — but I don’t know how often they’ve done it live, let alone with their current lineup of guitarist/vocalist Brad Frye, drummer/backing vocalist Roman Barham and bassist/vocalist Irish Cantwell. But hey, if you’re in the neighborhood, should be a fun one to catch. And if you’re not in the neighborhood, well, maybe someone’ll be kind enough to throw some of it on the ol’ YouTubers. Nothing’s ever really distant these days, you know.

Next month, Red Mesa will begin the recording process for their second album with an eye toward a 2020 release. I’ll be interested to see if that happens through Frye‘s Desert Records imprint or another outlet — they worked with Ripple Music in 2016 for the split The Second Coming of Heavy – Chapter Four (review here) — but that’s perhaps getting ahead of things and maybe it’s best to let them, you know, finish writing the thing first before sending it off to the pressing plant with this or that logo on back. I’m sure it’ll all work out, and in the meantime, their doing this live acoustic set would seem to be a way of signaling their continued interest in working with different arrangement styles despite Frye having traded out rhythm sections since the first album. However that might manifest in the new material remains to be seen/heard, of course, but it’s something else to keep an ear open for.

Their latest update follows. They’ll record at Empty House Studio in Albuquerque:

red mesa show dec 19

We are writing a new album.

Recording begins in January 2020 at Empty House Studio in Albuquerque, NM.

Our last show of the year is at Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership.

For this special evening Red Mesa will bust out the acoustic guitars, harmonicas, lap steel, cajon, and tambourine to perform songs like we’re sitting around a campfire out in the desert.
7pm All Ages.

Photo by Hunter Dawson

From L to R: Roman Barham (drums, backup vocals) Brad Frye (guitar, vocals), Irish Cantwell (bass, vocals).

https://www.facebook.com/redmesaband/
https://redmesarock.bandcamp.com/

Red Mesa, The Devil and the Desert (2018)

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