Quarterly Review: JOY Feat. Dr. Space, Rosetta, Pendejo, Lightsabres, Witch Hazel, CBBJ, Seedium, Vorrh, Lost Relics, Deadly Sin (Sloth)

Posted in Reviews on March 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-spring-2019

Day Five. What would traditionally be the end of the Quarterly Review if going to six wasn’t the new going to 11. Whatever, I can hack it. The amount of good stuff included in these batches really helps. I’m not saying there are days that are a flat-out bummer, but I feel like the proportion of times in this Quarterly Review I’ve gone, “Wow, this is pretty awesome,” has seen a definite spike this time around. I won’t complain about that. Makes the whole thing fun.

Today will be no exception, and then we finish up on Monday with the last 10. Thanks for reading if you do.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

JOY Feat. Dr. Space, Live at Roadburn 2018

joy feat dr space live at roadburn 2018

Brought together as part of the ‘San Diego Takeover’ at Roadburn 2018 that featured a host of that city’s acts performing in an even broader host of contexts, JOY and Scott “Dr. Space” Heller of Øresund Space Collective took the stage at the tiny Cul de Sac near the very end of the festival. It was how I closed out my Roadburn (review here). Dr. Space did a short spoken introduction and then they were off and they didn’t look back. The centerpiece of the limited LP is an extended jam simply titled “Jam.” It’s edited on the platter, but the digital version has the full 54 minutes, and the more the merrier. They round out with takes on Road‘s “Spaceship Earth” and JOY‘s “Miles Away,” and those are cool too, but the real highlight is about halfway through the longer “Jam” when the drums kick into the next gear and you suddenly snap out of your trance to realize how far you’ve already come. And you’re still only at the midpoint. I don’t know. Maybe you had to be there. So be there.

Øresund Space Collective on Thee Facebooks

JOY on Thee Facebooks

JOY Feat. Dr. Space at Øresund Space Collective Bandcamp

 

Rosetta, Sower of Wind

rosetta sower of wind

Philadelphia-based post-whatever-you-got outfit Rosetta continue to set their own terms with Sower of Wind, a self-recorded four-track/half-hour offering that’s something of an outgrowth of their most recent album, Utopioid. Broken into four tracks each assembled from ideas and layers churning throughout the four sections of that record, it brings out the ambient side of the band as guitarist/keyboardist/bassist Matt Weed serves as engineer for “East,” “South,” “West” and “North” as he, guitarist/keyboardist Eric Jernigan and vocalist Mike Armine — who here just adds samples and noise — construct fluid soundscapes that can either build to a head, as on “East” or offer a sense of foreboding like “West” and “North,” depending solely on the band’s will. It’s intended as an exploration, and it sounds like one, but if that wasn’t the point, Sower of Wind probably wouldn’t have been released in the first place. It’s not at all their first ambient release, but this modus continues to be viable for them creatively.

Rosetta on Thee Facebooks

Pelagic Records webstore

 

¡Pendejo!, Sin Vergüenza

pendejo sin verguenza

Whatever your current working definition might be for “over the top,” chances are Pendejo — also stylized as the exclamatory ¡Pendejo! — will make short work of it. Sin Vergüenza, their third long-player, sees release through their own Chancho Records imprint, and it’s not through opener “Don Gernàn” before the Amsterdam-based outfit break out the horns. Fronted by El Pastuso, who supplies the trumpet, the band roll through dense toned heavy rock in a crisply-executed, high-energy 10 tracks and 40 minutes that, even when you think they’re letting up, on the later “El Espejo,” they still manage to burst out a massive riff and groove in the second half. It’s the kind of record that’s breathtaking in the sense of you’re trying to run to keep up with its energy. That, however, should not be seen as undercutting the value of the band’s songwriting, which comes through regardless of language, and whether it’s the start-stops of “La Mala de la Tele” or the gleeful weirdo push of “Bulla,” Pendejo have their sonic terrain well staked out and know how to own it. They sound like a band who destroy live.

Pendejo on Thee Facebooks

Pendejo webstore

 

Lightsabres, A Shortcut to Insanity

LIGHTSABRES A SHORTCUT TO INSANITY

It’s rare for an artist to grow less predictable over time, but Lightsabres mastermind and multi-instrumentalist John Strömshed hits that standard with his former one-man outfit. Joined by session drummer Anton Nyström, Strömshed brings forth 11 tracks of genre-bending songcraft, melding fuzz and progressive folk, downer rock and thoughtful psych, garage push with punker edge, and seemingly whatever else seems to serve the best interests of the song at hand. On “Born Screaming,” that’s a turn to classical guitar plucking sandwiched on either side by massive riffs and vocals, like that of “Tangled in Barbed Wire,” remind of a fuzz-accompanied take on Life of Agony. At just 36 minutes, A Shortcut to Insanity isn’t long by any means, but it’s not an easy album to keep up with either, as Strömshed seems to dare his listenership to hold pace with his shifts through “Cave In,” rolling opener and longest track (immediate points) “From the Demon’s Mouth” and the sweetly melodic finale “Dying on the Couch,” which is perhaps cruelest of all for leaving the listener waiting for the other shoe to drop and letting that tension hang when it’s done.

Lightsabres on Thee Facebooks

DHU Records webstore

 

Witch Hazel, Otherworldly

Witch Hazel Otherworldly

Classic-style doom rockers Witch Hazel shift back and forth between early metal and heavy rock on their second full-length, Otherworldly, and the York, Pennsylvania, four-piece of vocalist Nate Tyson, guitarist Andy Craven, bassist Seibert Lowe and drummer Nicholas Zinn keep plenty of company in so doing, enlisting guest performances of organ and other keys throughout opener “Ghost & the Fly” and “Midnight Mist” and finding room for an entire horn section as they round out 11-minute closer “Devastator.” Elsewhere, “Meat for the Beast” and “Drinking for a Living” marry original-era heavy prog with more weighted impact, and “Zombie Flower Bloom” plays out like what might’ve happened if mid-’80s Ozzy had somehow invented stoner rock. So, you know, pretty awesome. The strut and shuffle of “Bled Dry” adds a bit of attitude late, but it’s really in cuts like the title-track and the aforementioned “Midnight Mist” earlier on that Witch Hazel showcase their formidable persona as a group.

Witch Hazel on Thee Facebooks

Witch Hazel on Bandcamp

 

CBBJ, 2018 Demo

CBBJ 2018 Demo

To a certain extent, what you see is what you get with CBBJ‘s 2018 Demo, right down to the wood paneling on the cover art. The band’s name — also written as CB/BJ — would seem to be taken from its members, Cox (that being Bryan Cox, founding drummer of Alabama Thunderpussy), Ball, Bone, and Jarvis, and as they look toward a Southern Thin Lizzy on demo finale “The Point of it All,” there’s something of a realization in what they’re putting together. It’s four tracks total, and finds some thrust in “Wreck You,” but keeps it wits there as well as in the sleazier nod of “The Climb” that precedes it as the opener and even in the penultimate “Can’t Go Home,” which gives booziest, earliest AC/DC a treatment of righteous bass. They’re apparently in the studio again now, or they just were, or will, or won’t, or up, or down, but whatever. Point is it’ll be worth keeping an ear out for when whatever comes next lands.

CBBJ on Thee Facebooks

CBBJ on Bandcamp

 

Seedium, Awake

seedium awake

Go on and get lost in the depths of Seedium‘s debut three-songer, Awake. The Polish outfit might be taking some cues as regards thickness from their countrymen in Dopelord or Spaceslug, but their instrumental tack on “Mist Haulers,” “Brain Eclipse” and “Ruina Cordis” oozes out of the speakers with right-on viscosity and comes across as infinitely stoned. The centerpiece tops 11 minutes and seems to indicate very little reason they couldn’t have pushed it another 10 had they so desired, and through “Ruina Cordis” is shorter at a paltry 7:08, its blasted sensibility and ending blend of spaciousness and swirl portends good things to come. With the murky first impression of “Mist Haulers” calling like a prayer bell to the riff-worshiping converted, Seedium very clearly know what they’re going for, and what remains to be seen is how their character and individual spin on that develops going forward. Still, for its tones alone, this first offering is a stunner.

Seedium on Thee Facebooks

Seedium on Bandcamp

 

Vorrh, Nomads of the Infinite Wild

vorrh nomads of the infinite wild

Programmed drumming gives Nomads of the Infinite Wild, the debut release from the Baltimore duo of Zinoosh Farbod and John Glennon an edge of dub, but the guitar work of songs like “Mercurial,” looped back on itself with leads layered overtop and Farbod‘s echoing vocals, remains broad, and the expansive of atmosphere puts them in a kind of meditative post-doom feel. Opener “Myths” strikes as a statement of purpose, and as “Morning Star” shows some Earth influence in the spaces left by Glennon‘s guitar, the band immediately uses that nuance to craft an individual identity. “Flood Plane” saunters through its instrumental trance before getting noisy briefly at the finish, only to let “These Eyes” work more effectively through a similar structure with Farbod on keys, seeming to set up the piano-foundation of “Ancient Divide,” which closes. This is a band who will benefit greatly from the fact that they record themselves, because they’ll have every opportunity to continue to experiment in the studio, which is exactly what they should be doing. In the meantime, Nomads of the Infinite Wild effectively heralds their potential for aesthetic innovation.

Vorrh on Thee Facebooks

Vorrh on Bandcamp

 

Lost Relics, 1st

lost relics 1st

Well, they didn’t call it 1st because it’s their eighth album. Denver noise rock trio Lost Relics debut with the aptly-titled 18-minute four-songer, bringing Neurosis-style vocal gutturalism to riffy crunch more reminiscent at times of Helmet‘s discordant heyday. Dense tonality and aggression pervade “Dead Men Don’t Need Silver,” “Scars,” the gets-raucous-later “Whip Rag” and closer “Face Grass,” which somehow brings a Clutch influence into this mix, and even more somehow makes it work, and then even more somehow indulges a bit of punk rock. The vocals and sense of tonal lumber tie it all together, but Lost Relics set a pretty wide base for themselves in these tracks, leaving one to wonder how the various elements at work might play out over the course of a longer release. As far as a debut EP goes, then, that’s the whole point of the thing, but something seems to be saying Lost Relics have more tricks up their sleeve than they’re showing here. One looks forward to finding out if that’s the case.

Lost Relics on Thee Facebooks

Lost Relics on Bandcamp

 

Deadly Sin (Sloth), VII: Sin Seven

deadly sin sloth vii sin seven

Deadly Sin (Sloth) play the kind of sludge that knows how well and truly fucked we are. The kind of sludge that doesn’t care who’s president because either way the chicken dinner you’re cooking is packed full of hormones. The kind of sludge that well earns its Scott Stearns tape artwork. VII: Sin Seven is not at all void of melody or purpose, as “Ripping Your Flesh” and the Danziggy “Glory Bound Grave” grimly demonstrate, but even in those moments, its intent is abrasion, and even the slower march of “Icarus” seems to scathe as much as the raw gutterpunk in “F One” and opener “Exit Ramp”‘s harshest screams. Not easy listening. Not for everybody. Not really for people. It’s a malevolent bludgeoning that even in the revivalism of “Blood Bought Church” seems only to be biding its time until the next strike. It does not wait all that long.

Deadly Sin (Sloth) on Thee Facebooks

Deadly Sin (Sloth) on Bandcamp

 

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Doomstress to Release Sleep Among the Dead LP April 30

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 20th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

doomstress

Fair enough to call Doomstress‘ debut album awaited since their second EP, The Second Rite (discussed here) came out in 2017 and they were already touring hard at that point. They stopped at some point last year long enough to record Sleep Among the Dead, however, and DHU Records and Ripple Music will have it out on vinyl and CD this Spring, respectively. Preorders for the LPs start on March 29, which is astonishingly not that long from now, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a song or two surfaced before the album itself shows up a month later. The art comes courtesy of Goatess Doomwych, and the tracklisting has been unveiled as well — you’ll note “Bitter Plea” included from the 2017 EP — and it seems like only a matter of time before the four-piece get back out on the road to support it, so stay tuned.

Info from the PR wire:

doomstress sleep among the dead

Doomstress to release debut full length album “Sleep Among the Dead” April 30th Walpurgisnacht

After releasing a 7″ in 2016 and a Split with Cleveland’s Sparrowmilk on DHU Records in 2017, the time has come for Doomstress to release their full length debut album titled “Sleep Among the Dead” on Limited Edition vinyl through DHU Records and on CD through Ripple Music respectively in this, The New Year of Heavy MMXIX.

“Sleep Among the Dead” was recorded amid the hectic and tense live touring schedule in 2018, and that intensity and raw energy you will hear and feel as you press play on this bad mother.

Musically and lyrically drawing from many wells of the dark side of life, personal experiences and the ever present doomed real world events, making this a deep seated Heavy Metal Doom monster from start to finish, mark my words!

Artwork for “Sleep Among the Dead” is done by the ever great Goatess Doomwych who also did the artwork for the Split with Sparrowmilk, side Doomstress, and it is a powerful piece.

Pre orders for the Doomstress – “Sleep Among the Dead” Limited Edition vinyl will go live Friday March 29th at 7PM CET

Official release date April 30th Walpurgisnacht

Available in following Editions:

-Burning Lotus Edition
(DHU Exclusive)
Limited to 90 copies
Single sleeve w/ 3mm spine
Flooded in black
Black polylined innersleeves
Double sided full color inlay
Artwork by Goatess Doomwych
Hand numbered DHU Exclusive card
Comes on Green/White Cornetto effect w/ Purple and Black Splatter 12″ vinyl

-Bones & Rust Edition
Limited to 150 copies
Single sleeve w/ 3mm spine
Flooded in black
Black polylined innersleeves
Double sided full color inlay
Artwork by Goatess Doomwych
Comes on Oxblood w/ Silver Splatter 12″ vinyl

-Test Press
Limited to 10 copies
Single sleeve w/ 3mm spine
Alternate artwork by Goatess Doomwych
White polylined innersleeves
Hand numbered
Hand stamped
Deluxe PVC sleeve
Black 12″ vinyl

Doomstress – Sleep Among the Dead (DHU032)

Side A
A1. Bitter Plea
A2. Burning Lotus
A3. Dreaming Spider
A4. Your God is Blind

Side B
B1. Bones and Rust
B2. Apathetic Existence
B3. Sleep Among the Dead

Doomstress is:
Doomstress Alexis – Bass/Vocals
Brandon Johnson – Guitar
Matt Taylor – Guitar
Tomasz Scull – Drums

www.doomstress.com
www.doomstress.bandcamp.com
www.doomstress.bigcartel.com
https://www.facebook.com/DoomstressBand/
instagram.com/Doomstress_band
twitter.com/Doomstress
www.darkhedonisticunion.bigcartel.com
https://www.facebook.com/DHURecords/
https://twitter.com/dhu_records
https://www.facebook.com/theripplemusic/
https://twitter.com/RippleMusic
https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/
http://www.ripple-music.com/

Doomstress, “Bitter Plea” official video

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Witch Ripper & Brume Stream Split MMXIX in its Entirety

Posted in audiObelisk, Bootleg Theater on March 14th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

brume

witch ripper

So, first things first: Witch Ripper and Brume release their Split MMXIX this Friday, March 15, through DHU Records. Second, with Witch Ripper working with Matt Bayles and Brume working with Billy Frickin’ Anderson on production, it should come as no surprise that the thing sounds awesome. From the opening High on Fire-through-a-meat-grinder churn of the early going in Witch Ripper‘s 13-minute-long “1985” and the melancholy creep that follows before they build back up to the last apex, to the fallout symptoms at the end of “Man-Made” (you’ll see it in the video) to the timeless and familiar strains of “In the Pines” as rendered through Brume‘s melodic lurch and longing, Split MMXIX is of course more than the sum of those behind the board, behemoths of the monolithic — or was that monoliths of the behemoth? — as they are, it’s also the result of two bands working each on their own level to affect that consuming sonic largesse. “1985” was recorded when Witch Ripper tracked their 2018 debut, Homestead, while Brume‘s “Man-Made” and “In the Pines” are older and newer recordings, respectively, brought to bear with the sense of lumber one has come to expect from the San Francisco three-piece.

With its extended runtime, the opener consumes the entirety of side A of the vinyl and puts it to good use. Tones are weighted and the initial plod is given duly guttural vocal accompaniment for about the first half of the track, and as it hits the midpoint, “1985” breaks to a stretch of quiet, classically metallic guitar, dramatic and atmospheric and a stark turn from the grit preceding, but not entirely out of place — or at least not anymore than it’s intended to be. Clean-sung lines top as the bass and drums casually work their brume witch ripper split mmxixway back in and Witch Ripper push forward on a subtle build for the next couple minutes, a tolling bell seeming to signal the shift into the grander instrumental solo section that pays off the track in epic metal fashion. The band note below that “1985” was taken off the album because it was too long, and listening to it, one tends to believe them. It is long, but that only seems to make it all the more worthy of the showcase it has here alongside the work of Brume, who follow their 2017 debut, Rooster (review here), with these two tracks showcasing their evolving personality.

“Man-Made” — the video below directed by the band’s own Jordan Perkins-Lewis — seems to rumble out its start in answer to “1985” back on the A side, but obviously that’s just coincidence of tone; it’s an older song recorded before the band knew it would be on this split. The impact of its riffing is well met by the nuclear test footage sped up to match the rhythm of the strumming guitar, and over the eight minutes, “Man-Made” evolves into a maddened beast before, like “1985” before it, dropping to mellow but tense guitar. The difference is “Man-Made” resumes its previous heading and caps with its central riff in the forward position and feedback leading the way via fadeout into “In the Pines,” written by Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter and given generational breadth through a particularly tortured performance by Nirvana on MTV Unplugged. Brume make it sound massive, thereby demonstrating not only the malleability of the song itself, but their own reach as they move beyond their debut into this release and whatever might come after.

Below, you’ll find all three tracks on Split MMXIX presented across three different YouTube clips. Not how these kinds of things usually work, but go with it. Witch Ripper have a creepy spider to go with “1985,” while Brume have a static image for “In the Pines” and the aforementioned bomb-dropper clip for “Man-Made.” One way or the other, it all makes sense atmospherically with the release itself, which is unapologetic in its heft and worthy of whatever volume you can give it.

Comment from the bands and more follows the videos.

Please enjoy:

Witch Ripper, “1985”

Brume, “Man-Made” official video premiere

Brume, “In the Pines”

Witch Ripper on “1985”:

Recorded during the “Homestead” sessions by Matt Bayles (Isis, Mastodon, Minus the Bear) it was cut from the full length because frankly, it was too damn long to fit on the vinyl. Luckily we found a home for the song as our side of a killer split with San Francisco doom weirdos Brume. The song “1985” is one of our most ambitions creations yet. At 13 minutes strong the song moves from grunge inspired doom riffs to a psychedelic clean bridge and huge musical soaring outro. It’s got a lot. Lyrically it’s about knowing that you love music, not knowing how long you can do it for but not wanting to give up that dream. Something that I think we can all relate too.

Brume on “Man-Made” & “In the Pines”:

Brume’s two tracks on the split are a celebration of the SF Trio’s second home, the Pacific Northwest and bring to light recordings old and new. “Man-Made” is the first track the band worked with producer Billy Anderson (Neurosis/Sleep) and was recorded in Portland while on their first West Coast tour in 2015. “In the pines” is the most recent track recorded with Billy (also in Portland), some three years after. The cover was pulled together for a show in Seattle, paying homage to both Nirvana and Leadbelly. What better way to release these tracks than with label mates Witch Ripper from Seattle?

Brume/Witch Ripper Split MMXIX

Side Witch Ripper
A1. 1985

Side Brume
B1. Man-made
B2. In the Pines

Pre orders go live Friday January 25th at 7PM CET

Official release date March 15th

The Brume/Witch Ripper Split will be released on 3 different limited edition color vinyl options

DHU Exclusive: Limited to 90 copies
Witch Ripper Edition: Limited to 100 copies
Brume Edition: Limited to 100 copies

Brume
Susie: Vocals/Bass
Jamie: Guitar/Vocals
Jordan: Drums

Witch Ripper
Curtis Parker: Vocals/Guitar
Joe Eck: Drums
Brian Kim: Bass
Coltan Anderson: Guitar

Brume website

Brume on Bandcamp

Brume on Thee Facebooks

Brume BigCartel store

Witch Ripper on Bandcamp

Witch Ripper on Thee Facebooks

Witch Ripper on Instagram

DHU Records on Thee Facebooks

DHU Records on Instagram

DHU Records on Twitter

DHU Records on Bandcamp

DHU Records BigCartel store

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Black Road Post “Blood on the Blade” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on March 6th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

black road live

It starts with a slow-mo Wes Anderson-style walk off an elevator, and soon enough, Black Road‘s new video and single unfold with attitude-laced bluesy vibes and an underpinning of heavy rock grit. And of course, by the end of the video, there is indeed “Blood on the Blade.” There was a moment there where I thought frontwoman Suzi Uzi was carving up the rest of the band, but that’s not the way it goes. Maybe next time. The Chicago outfit will, like the rest of the universe, head to SXSW this month to play the SX Stoner Jam, and they’ve also got shows booked around that with Wisconsin’s Attalla that you can see presented in the at-sign language of Instagram under the video itself below. If you’re headed that way, consider yourself lucky. That’s going to be a special time, and cheers to Black Road for taking part.

Uzi and cohorts Tim M. (guitar), Casey Papp (bass) and Robert Gonzales (drums) are teasing the impending prospect of their first full-length with the new song. You might recall they also issued the single “Witch of the Future” (posted here) way back in November, and of course that may or may not wind up on the same record. Their eagerness to get their songs out to the public is justifiable beyond even the band-releasing-their-debut-album standard antsy-ness. Set for issue through DHU Records and BloodRock Records, whenever it arrives and whatever it’s called will see the band having already worked to build considerable momentum, not only with the show at SXSW, but also at New England Stoner and Doom Fest II in Connecticut this May, among others, and having already garnered much hyperbole around their 2017 self-titled EP (discussed here), which was fairly enough earned.

“Blood on the Blade” does little to make me think the pattern won’t hold when the album eventually shows up, and of course that’s the whole point of an advance single. I won’t predict how the whole record is going to play out based on one song, but the rolling groove here, the on-the-couch guitar solo, and the brooding overall vibe suit the band well.

PR wire info follows, as well as those live dates.

Please enjoy:

Black Road, “Blood on the Blade” official video

Chicago, Illinois Doom rock outfit Black Road surprised everyone Saturday with a release of a brand new video and song titled “Blood on the Blade” of the upcoming, as of yet untitled, debut full length.

“Blood on the Blade” is the first track taken from the new Black Road album and is a sassy Blues Rock anthem which trudges in a half tempo blues beat while being told a short story of ‘who can you trust’. The video was filmed/edited and directed on location by Don Corthier and Liza Moon

The debut album will feature 7 brand new heavy hitting rock anthems and will be nothing short of an instant classic!

Watch out for the Limited Edition vinyl and cassette through DHU Records and CD on BloodRock Records in 2019.

Black Road live:
Wed March 13 @rudyards_htx with @mtntmr @salemsbend @attallawi
Thurs March 14 @spiderhouseatx for #sxstonerjam19
Fri March 15 @89thstreetokc with @croboneband @kingcaravan @attallawi
Sat March 16 @dgstaphouse with @sonofthemorningband @attallawi .

Black Road:
Suzi Uzi (vox/lyrics/piano)
Tim M. (guitar)
Casey Papp (bass)
Robert Gonzales (drums)

Black Road on Thee Facebooks

Black Road on Instagram

Black Road on Bandcamp

DHU Records webstore

DHU Records on Thee Facebooks

DHU Records on Bandcamp

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Witch Ripper and Brume to Release Split MMXIX March 15

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 15th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

brume

witch ripper

Nobody here loses. Two bands and a label team up, everybody gets circa-100 copies to sell, and everyone helps each other promote it. What Brume, Witch Ripper and DHU Records have going with the Split MMXIX is basically the idea behind doing a split in the first place. Two bands are showcased with the promotional help from an imprint and everybody gets to put out something new. The fact that Seattle four-piece Witch Ripper take up their whole side with their “1985” opus is a bonus, as is Brume‘s side B take on “In the Pines,” the Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter track known to an entire generation as “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” as covered by Nirvana once upon a time on MTV Unplugged. Hard to argue with the pick, frankly.

The release is out March 15 and the preorders start Jan. 25. I wouldn’t be surprised if the pressing sold out on preorders alone, but whether or not the thing actually makes it to its release date, everyone still wins.

From the PR wire:

brume witch ripper split mmxix

Brume/Witch Ripper Split MMXIX (DHU023) Pre order + release date

San Francisco’s Doom Trio Brume have teamed up with Seattle’s Stoner Metal misfits Witch Ripper to bring you a split of unforgiving heaviness to ring in the New Year of Heavy MMXIX

Witch Ripper open the gates on Side A with a mind melting 13+ min track called “1985”. A track that was recorded during their magnificent debut “Homestead” recording session released last year, so you know you will be swept up once again in their punishing assault!

On Side B Brume grace us with a song recorded between the debut “Donkey” and follow up full length “Rooster”, a relentless 8+min Doom anthem called “Man-made” which starts as slow as you know them to be, then bursts into a mid paced groove that will have you banging your head uncontrollably before sending you out into oblivion as they quiet down before the last storm. And, to top it off, Brume does a cover of the classic Leadbelly song “In the Pines” or “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” (also covered by Nirvana and Mark Lanegan respectively) in their own traditional Doomed way, so get ready!

Presented here is the cover artwork, done by the incredible photographer Katrin Albert

Brume/Witch Ripper Split MMXIX

Side Witch Ripper
A1. 1985

Side Brume
B1. Man-made
B2. In the Pines

Pre orders go live Friday January 25th at 7PM CET

Official release date March 15th

The Brume/Witch Ripper Split will be released on 3 different limited edition color vinyl options

DHU Exclusive: Limited to 90 copies
Witch Ripper Edition: Limited to 100 copies
Brume Edition: Limited to 100 copies

Brume
Susie: Vocals/Bass
Jamie: Guitar/Vocals
Jordan: Drums

Witch Ripper
Curtis Parker: Vocals/Guitar
Joe Eck: Drums
Brian Kim: Bass
Coltan Anderson: Guitar

https://www.brumeband.com/
https://brumesf.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/brumeband/
http://brume.bigcartel.com/

https://witchripper.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Witchripper/
https://www.instagram.com/witch_ripper/

https://www.facebook.com/DHURecords/
https://www.instagram.com/dhu_records/
https://twitter.com/dhu_records
https://darkhedonisticunionrecords.bandcamp.com/
darkhedonisticunionrecords.bigcartel.com/

Brume, Rooster (2017)

Witch Ripper, Homestead (2018)

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Rough Spells Sign to DHU Records; Debut Album out This Year

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 3rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

DHU Records has announced the pickup of Toronto-based cultists Rough Spells, who issued their debut EP, Modern Kicks for the Solitary Witch — please tell me they got the title out of an alternative-lifestyle shoe catalog that was trying to be hip; even if it’s not true and I’m sure it isn’t, please just let me believe it — last summer. Tapes were pressed just last month through Hoove Child Records, and DHU will present the as-yet-untitled long-player sometime before the end of 2019, which is pretty much now. I like the fact that the signing was the result of an Instagram comment and the mysterious interference of a dude named Reggie (please also let me believe it was Reggie Jackson; I’ve got a whole narrative going here), and it seems like all manner of witchly doom is set to unfold, so cool by me. I’ll admit their signing is the first I’m hearing of the band, so I look forward to digging in.

If you’re in a similar situation, you can check out the EP at the bottom of this post, courtesy of the band’s Bandcamp. The announcement came, of course, from the PR wire:

rough spells

DHU Records signs Rough Spells to release debut full length in 2019

DHU Records is thrilled to announce the signing of Toronto, Canada’s Dysfunctional/Doom outfit Rough Spells!

When in the summer of 2018 DHU Records first was introduced to Rough Spells via a comment on Instagram, a spell was cast and the stars started to align.

A man by the name of Reggie, who is an acquaintance of the band, sent DHU a message informing he’ll be in Amsterdam for a week and would love for us to hear this record nobody had yet heard of outside of Canadian borders.

With only 2 songs available on Soundcloud and a 6 song LP that was in existence but only sold locally, we thought it wise to spread this outstanding classic to the world through the vinyl community, and so it did, like wildfire!

Since then they opened a Facebook account, put their record titled “Modern Kicks for the Solitary Witch” up on Bandcamp and Spotify so listeners can now fully enjoy these 6 powerful incantations and at DHU we are over the top excited to be working with them!

DHU Records will release Rough Spells as of yet untitled Debut Full Length in 2019 on Limited Edition vinyl

STAY DOOMED STAY HEAVY

Rough Spells:
Sarena Sairan: Vocals/Guitar
Maija Martin: Guitar/Vocals
Dave Lucas: Bass
Tobey Black: Drums

https://www.facebook.com/Rough-Spells-441982039657307/
https://www.instagram.com/roughspells/
https://roughspells.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/DHURecords/
https://www.instagram.com/dhu_records/
https://twitter.com/dhu_records
https://darkhedonisticunionrecords.bandcamp.com/
darkhedonisticunionrecords.bigcartel.com/

Rough Spells, Modern Kicks for the Solitary Witch (2018)

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Quarterly Review: Surya Kris Peters, Lewis and the Strange Magics, Lair of the Minotaur, Sonic Wolves, Spacelord, Nauticus, Yuxa, Forktie, Ohhms, Blue Dream

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

quarterly-review

I had a terrible thought yesterday: What if this one… went to 11? That is, what if, after 10 days of Quarterly Review ending today with a grand total of 100 records reviewed since last Monday, I did another batch of 10? Like a bonus round? Like I said, terrible thought.

Pretty sure it won’t happen. I’ve already got a review and a video premiere booked for next Monday, but I definitely had the thought. It was easy, of course, to fill out another 10 slots, and who knows, maybe this weekend for the first time ever I wind up with some extra time and energy on my hands? Could happen, right?

Again, I’m fairly certain it won’t. Let’s proceed with the assumption today’s the last day. Thank you for reading. I hope you have found something cool in all of this that has really hit home. I certainly have. We cap very much in last-but-not-least fashion, and if nothing’s resonated with you yet, don’t count yourself completely out. You might just get there after all. Thanks again.

Quarterly Review #91-100:

Surya Kris Peters, Ego Therapy

Surya Kris Peters Ego Therapy

Those feeling technical will note the full title of the album is Surya Kris Peters’ Ego Therapy, but the point gets across either way. And even as Christian Peters — also guitarist/vocalist for Samsara Blues Experiment — acknowledges the inherent self-indulgence of the proverbial “solo-project” that his exploration of synth and classically progressive textures under the moniker of Surya Kris Peters has become, with Ego Therapy as his second full-length of 2018, he branches out in including drums from former Terraplane bandmate Jens Vogel. The 10-song/53-minute outing opens with its longest cut (immediate points) in the 15-minute “Angels in Bad Places,” a spaced-out and vibrant atmosphere more cohesive than psychedelia but still trippy as all hell, and moves through a bluesy key/guitar interplay in “Wizard’s Dream” following the dancey thriller soundtrack “Beyond the Sun” and into the Blade Runner-style grandeur of “Sleeping Willow” and the video game-esque “A Fading Spark” before bookending with the sci-fi “Atomic Clock” at the close. I don’t know how ultimately therapeutic Peters‘ solo offerings might be, but he only seems to grow bolder each time out, and that certainly applies here.

Surya Kris Peters on Thee Facebooks

Electric Magic Records on Bandcamp

 

Lewis and the Strange Magics, The Ginger Sessions

lewis and the strange magics the ginger sessions

How are you not gonna love a release that starts with a song called “Sexadelic Galactic Voyage?” Barcelona vamp rockers Lewis and the Strange Magics embrace their inner funk on the 23-minute self-released EP, The Ginger Sessions, finding the place where their uptempo ’70s fusion meets oldschool The Meters-style rhythm, digging into the repetitions of “Candied Ginger” after the aforementioned instrumental opening burst and then holding the momentum through “Her Vintage Earrings.” Some departure happens on what might be side B of the 10″, with “The Shadow of Your Smile” turning toward pastoral psychedelia, still rhythmic thanks to some prominent wood block and xylophone sounds, but much calmer despite a consistency of wah and keys. “Suzy’s Room II” follows in fuzzy fashion, bridging the earlier cologne-soaked, chest-hair-out vibes with garage buzz and a heavier low end beneath the synthesized experimentation. Mellotron shows up and continues to hold sway in closer “Witch’s Brew,” playing the band outward along with layers of drifting guitar for about two and a half minutes of bluesy serenity that feel cut short, as does the release on the whole. One hopes they don’t lose that funky edge going into their next album.

Lewis and the Strange Magics on Thee Facebooks

Lewis and the Strange Magics on Bandcamp

 

Lair of the Minotaur, Dragon Eagle of Chaos

Lair of the Minotaur Dragon Eagle of Chaos

Once upon the mid-aughts, Chicago’s Lair of the Minotaur roamed the land as the long-prophesied American answer to Entombed, as much classic, dirt-covered death metal as they were laden with heavy groove. Their tones filthy, their assault brutal all the while, war metal, ultimate destroyers. The whole nine. They released their last album, Evil Power (review here), in 2010. The two-songer Dragon Eagle of Chaos follows a 2013 single, and was released to mark the occasion of perhaps a return to some measure of greater activity. I don’t know if that’ll happen, but as both “Dragon Eagle of Chaos” and “Kunsult the Bones” affirm in about seven minutes between them, Lair of the Minotaur remain a wrecking ball made of raw meat when it comes to their sound. The madness that seemed to always underline their material at its most effective is present and accounted for in “Dragon Eagle of Chaos,” and the stripped-down production of the single actually helps its violent cause. Will they do another record? Could go either way, but if they decide to go that route, they clearly still have the evil power within.

Lair of the Minotaur website

Lair of the Minotaur on Bandcamp

 

Sonic Wolves, Sonic Wolves

sonic wolves sonic wolves

Eight tracks/34 minutes of smoothly-arranged and well-executed doom rock brought to bear with an abiding lack of pretense and a developing sense of songcraft and dynamic — there’s very little not to dig about Sonic Wolves‘ self-titled LP (on Future Noise and DHU), from the Sabbathian stretch of “Ascension” down through the bouncing low-key-psych-turns-to-full-on-wah-overdose-swirl in the penultimate “Heavy Light.” Along the way, bassist/vocalist Kayt Vigil (ex-Pentagram, etc.) — joined by guitarists Jason Nealy and Enrico “Ico” Aniasi and drummer Gianni “Vita” Vitarelli (also Ufomammut) — gallop through the traditional metal of “Red Temple” and ride a fuzzy roll in “Tide of Chaos,” leaving the uptempo shuffle of “You’ll Climb the Walls” to close out by tapping into a “Wicked World”-style vision of heavy blues that casts off many of the tropes of what’s become the subgenre in favor of a darker approach. If their self-titled is Sonic Wolves declaring who they are as a band after making their debut in 2016, the results are only encouraging.

Sonic Wolves on Thee Facebooks

DHU Records webstore

Future Noise Recordings webstore

 

Spacelord, Indecipher

Spacelord Indecipher

There is an immediate sensibility drawn from classic heavy rock to the vocals on Spacelord‘s second record, Indecipher, like Shannon Hoon fronting Led Zeppelin, maybe? Something like that, definitely drawn from a ’70s/’90s blend. Produced, mixed and mastered by guitarist Rich Root, with Chris Cappiello on bass, Kevin Flynn on drums and Ed Grabianowski on vocals, the four-piece’s sophomore LP is comprised of a neatly-constructed eight songs working around sci-fi themes on bruiser cuts like “Super Starship Adventure” and the particularly righteous “Zero Hour,” as opener and longest track (immediate points) “For the Unloved Ones” sets forth the classic vibe amid the first of the record’s impressive solos and resonant hooks. Something about it makes me want them to go completely over the top in terms of production their next time out — layers on layers on layers, etc. — but the kind of false start Grabianowski brings to the ultra-Zepped “New Machine” has a charm that I’m not sure it would be worth sacrificing.

Spacelord on Thee Facebooks

Kozmik Artifactz website

 

Nauticus, Disappear in Blue

Nauticus Disappear in Blue

Six years after the release of their second album, The Wait (review here), Finnish atmospheric progressive metallers Nauticus effect a return with the 78-minute Disappear in Blue, which following the relatively straightforward opening with “Magma” casts out a vast sprawl in accordance with its oceanic theme. Longer tracks like “Claimed by the Sea,” “Strange Sequences/Lost Frequencies,” “Arrival” and “Hieronymus” are complex and varied but united through a deep instrumental dynamic that’s brought to light even in the three-minute ambient post-rocker “Desolation,” which is something of an interlude between “Strange Sequences/Lost Frequencies” and the tense build of “Singularity.” Other ambient spaces “Jesus of Lübeck” and the later “Whale Bones” complement and add reach to the longer-form works, but it’s hardly as though Nauticus‘ material lacks character one way or the other. Overwhelming in its length, Disappear in Blue might take some time to wade through, but what a way to go.

Nauticus on Thee Facebooks

Nauticus on Bandcamp

 

Yuxa, Yuxa

yuxa yuxa

As the greater part of anything related to post-metal invariably does, UK outfit Yuxa have their “Stones from the Sky” moment in “Founder in Light,” the opening cut from their self-titled debut EP, that most formative of progressions making itself known in modified form to suit the double-guitar four-piece’s intent with dramatic screams and shouts cutting through an ably-conjured surge of noisy adrenaline resolving in winding chug and crash en route to “Exiled Hand,” the seven-minute cut that follows and serves as centerpiece of the three-tracker. “Founder in Light,” “Exiled Hand” and nine-minute closer “Peer” are arranged shortest to longest, and the effect is to draw the listener in such that by the time the angular, purposeful lurch of the finale begins to unfold, Yuxa‘s rhythmic hypnosis is already well complete. Still, the straightforward arrangements of guitar, bass, drums and vocals give them a rawer edge than many synth- or sample-laden post-metallic cohorts, and that suits the atmospheric sludge with which they close out, harnessing chaos without giving themselves over to it. A quick sample of a creative development getting underway, though it’s telling as well that Yuxa ends with a sudden buzz of amp noise.

Yuxa on Thee Facebooks

Yuxa on Bandcamp

 

Forktie, EP

forktie forktie

The first EP release from Forktie — who stylize their moniker and titles all-lowercase: forktie — is untitled, but contains five tracks that tap into proto-emo post-hardcore and ’90s alt rock sensibilities, finding a place between heavy rock and grunge that allows for Aarone Victorine‘s bass to lead toward the hook of centerpiece “Decomposition Book” with a smooth presence that’s well complementary the vocals from guitarist Dom Mariano, their presence low in the mix only adding to the wistful feel of “Anywhere but Here” and “September Morning,” before the shorter “Spores” lets loose some more push from drummer Corey LeBlanc and closer “Ph.D. in Nothing” reinforces the underlying melancholy beneath the thicker exterior tones. It’s a new project, but Forktie have worked their way into a niche that suits their songwriting well, and given themselves a space to grow within their sound. Members experience in bands like UXO, Test Meat and textbookcopilot will serve them in that effort.

Forktie on Thee Facebooks

Forktie on Bandcamp

 

Ohhms, Exist

ohhms exist

As a fan generally of bands opening albums with the longest song included, I can get on board with UK heavy progressive metallers Ohhms opening Exist with the 22-minute “Subjects.” Immediate points and all that. Far more consequential, however, is the substance of that launch for the four-song/43-minute Holy Roar LP, which is the band’s fourth in four years. It’s a vast, broad and complex offering unto itself, consuming side A as vocalist Paul Waller embodies various entities, “I am wolf” (preceding a Duran Duran reference, perhaps inadvertent), “I am child,” and so on. Those proclamations are just the culmination of a progression that, frankly, is an album unto itself, let alone a side, and maybe should’ve been released as such, though the absolute post-metallic crush of “Shambles,” the seething of “Calves” and the heavy post-rock reach of “Lay Down Your Firearms” need no further justification than a simple listen provides, the last of them pummeling side B to a then-sudden stop. Ohhms are no strangers to longform work, and it suits them well enough to make one wonder if they couldn’t be headed toward a single-song LP in the near future.

Ohhms on Thee Facebooks

Holy Roar Records on Bandcamp

 

Blue Dream, Volume Blue

Blue Dream Volume Blue

Chicago four-piece Blue Dream issued their first LP, Volume Won, early in 2018 and follow with Volume Blue — as opposed to “two”; could ‘Volume Tree’ be in the works? ‘Volume Free?’ — which collects nine neo-psych-mit-der-funky-grooves cuts chic enough to be urbane but fuzzed out enough to make the freakouts more than just a come on. They open peaceful enough with “Delta,” before the hook of “9,000 lb. Machine” defines the course and cuts like “Thank You for Smoking” and the almost woefully catchy “She’s Hot” expand the parameters. I’ll take the dream-tone shimmer of “Kingsbury Goldmine” any day in a kind of self-aware reflection of British folk and/or the garage rock of “Shake the Shake,” but the dense roll of “Viper Venom” that immediately follows reimagines grunge as more than just an influence from three popular bands and something that could genuinely move forward from the perspective of a new generation. Hearing Blue Dream close out with the boogie of “The Glide,” one hopes they do precisely that, though I’d by no means limit them to one avenue of expression. They’re clearly able to harness multiple vibes here.

Blue Dream on Thee Facebooks

Blue Dream on Bandcamp

 

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Lightsabres to Release A Shortcut to Insanity Dec. 30; Preorders up Friday

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 13th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

The cover art and tracklisting for Lightsabres‘ upcoming LP, A Shortcut to Insanity, has been floating around since March when the Swedish mostly-one-man outfit signed to DHU Records for the album’s release. One imagines then it’s been a long year for Lightsabres waiting for it to come out. Preorders though will begin this week for a still-2018 release on Dec. 30, and as with Lightsabres‘ past outings — the most recent full-length was 2016’s Hibernation (review here) — it’s no doubt well suited to the dark winter hours that accompany the coming of a New Year. I’ll be happy to confirm that when I’ve heard it.

Release announcement comes through the PR wire:

LIGHTSABRES A SHORTCUT TO INSANITY

LIGHTSABES ~ A SHORTCUT TO INSANITY (DHU031)

Here we have for you the final release of 2018 by DHU Records, the details, pre order date, official release date and download for reviewers for the Lightsabres ~ A Shortcut to Insanity Limited Edition vinyl!

Pre orders will start Friday November 16th at 7PM CET

Official release date December 30th

Recorded and mixed by Anton Nyström at BD Pop Studios, Luleå, Sweden. Mastered by Tony Reed at HeavyHead Recording Co.

Tracklist

Side A:

A1. From the Demon’s Mouth
A2. Breathing Fire
A3. Cave In
A4. Sweet Oblivion of Sleep
A5. Shot in the Head

Side B:

B1. Tangled in Barbed Wire
B2. With Horns
B3. No Light
B4. Shark Eyes
B5. Born Screaming

Available in the following Editions:

FROM THE DEMON’S MOUTH EDITION
DHU EXCLUSIVE

Limited to 90 copies
Gatefold Jacket
Flooded in Black
Spotfoil on the cover
Black polylined innersleeves
Artwork by MIDORI HAYASHI
A4 poster by Shane Horror
Hand numbered DHU Exclusive Card
Housed in a PVC Sleeve
Comes on White/Green Cornetto Effect 12″ vinyl

Lightsabres is:
J. Strömshed: Guitar/Bass/Vocals
Anton Nyström: Session Drummer

https://www.facebook.com/lightsabres
https://lightsabres.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/DHURecords/
https://www.instagram.com/dhu_records/
https://twitter.com/dhu_records
https://darkhedonisticunionrecords.bandcamp.com/
darkhedonisticunionrecords.bigcartel.com/

Lightsabres, tracks from split with Blissfull Stream (2017)

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