Quarterly Review: Ecstatic Vision, Norska, Bison, Valborg, Obelyskkh, Earth Electric, Olde, Deaf Radio, Saturndust, Birnam Wood

Posted in Reviews on July 14th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-summer-2017

It turns out that, yes indeed, I will be able to add another day to the Quarterly Review this coming Monday. Stoked on that. Means I’ll be trying to cram another 10 reviews into this coming weekend, but that’s not exactly a hardship as I see it, and the stuff I have picked out for it is, frankly, as much of a bonus for me as it could possibly be for anyone else, so yeah, look out for that. In the meantime, we wrap the Monday-to-Friday span of 50 records today with another swath of what’s basically me doing favors for my ears, and I hope as always for yours as well. Let’s dig in.

Quarterly Review #41-50:

Ecstatic Vision, Raw Rock Fury

ecstatic-vision-raw-rock-fury

Hard touring and a blistering debut in 2015’s Sonic Praise (review here) quickly positioned Ecstatic Vision at the forefront of a Philadelphia-based mini-boom in heavy psych (see also: Ruby the Hatchet, Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlsome Bells, and so on), and their Relapse-issued follow-up, Raw Rock Fury, only delves further into unmitigated cosmic swirl and space-rocking crotchal thrust. The now-foursome keep a steady ground in percussion and low end even as guitar, sax, synth and echoing vocals seem to push ever more far-out, and across the record’s four tracks – variously broken up across two sides – the band continue to stake out their claim on the righteously psychedelic, be it in the all-go momentum building of “You Got it (Or You Don’t)” or the more drifting opening movement of closer “Twinkling Eye.” Shit is trippy, son. With the echoing-from-the-depths shouts of Doug Sabolik cutting through, there’s still an edge of Eastern Seaboard intensity to Ecstatic Vision, but that only seems to make Raw Rock Fury live up to its title all the more. Still lots of potential here, but it’ll be their third record that tells the tale of whether they can truly conquer space itself.

Ecstatic Vision on Thee Facebooks

Ecstatic Vision at Relapse Records website

 

Norska, Too Many Winters

norska-too-many-winters

Issued through Brutal Panda, Too Many Winters is the second full-length from Portland five-piece Norska, and its six tracks/48 minutes would seem to pick up where Rwake left off in presenting a progressive vision of what might be called post-sludge. Following an engaging 2011 self-titled debut, songs like the title-track and “This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” churn and careen through Sourvein-style abrasion, vaguely Neurosis-style nod and, in the case of the latter or closer “Fire Patience Backbone,” soundscaping minimalism that, in the finale, is bookended by some of the record’s most intense push following opener “Samhain” and the subsequent “Eostre.” That salvo starts Too Many Winters with a deceptive amount of thrust, but even there atmosphere is central as it is to the outing as a whole, and a penultimate interlude in the 2:22 “Wave of Regrets” does well to underscore the point before the fading-in initial onslaught of “Fire Patience Backbone.” Having Aaron Rieseberg of YOB in the lineup with Jim Lowder, Dustin Rieseberg, Rob Shaffer and Jason Oswald no doubt draws eyes their way, but Norska’s sonic persona is distinct, immersive and individualized enough to stand on its own well beyond that pedigree.

Norska on Thee Facebooks

Norska at Brutal Panda Records website

 

Bison, You are Not the Ocean You are the Patient

bison-you-are-not-the-ocean-you-are-the-patient

Think about the two choices. You are Not the Ocean You are the Patient. Isn’t it the difference between something acting – i.e., an object – and something acted upon – i.e., a subject? As British Columbian heavy rockers Bison return after half a decade via Pelagic Records, their fourth album seems to find them trying to push beyond genre lines into a broader scope. “Until the Earth is Empty,” “Drunkard,” “Anti War” and “Raiigin” still have plenty of thrust, but the mood here is darker even than 2012’s Lovelessness found the four-piece, and “Tantrum” and closer “The Water Becomes Fire” bring out a more methodical take. It’s been 10 years since Bison issued their debut Earthbound EP and signed to Metal Blade for 2008’s Quiet Earth, and the pre-Red Fang party-ready heavy rock of those early works is long gone – one smiles to remember “These are My Dress Clothes” in the context of noise-rocking centerpiece “Kenopsia” here, the title of which refers to the emptiness of a formerly occupied space – but if the choice Bison are making is to place themselves on one side or the other of the subject/object divide, they prove to be way more ocean than patient in these songs.

Bison on Thee Facebooks

Bison at Pelagic Records website

 

Valborg, Endstrand

valborg-endstrand

With its churning, swirling waves of cosmic death, one almost expects Valborg’s Endstrand (on Lupus Lounge/Prophecy Productions) to be more self-indulgent than it is, but one of the German trio’s greatest assets across the 13-track/44-minute span of their sixth album is its immediacy. The longest song, “Stossfront,” doesn’t touch five minutes, and from the 2:14 opener “Jagen” onward, Valborg reenvision punk rock as a monstrous, consuming beast on songs like “Blut am Eisen,” “Beerdigungsmaschine,” “Alter,” “Atompetze” and closer “Exodus,” all the while meting put punishment after punishment of memorable post-industrial riffing on “Orbitalwaffe,” the crashing “Ave Maria” and the noise-soaked penultimate “Strahlung,” foreboding creeper atmospherics on “Bunkerluft” and “Geisterwürde,” and landmark, perfectly-paced chug on “Plasmabrand.” Extreme in its intent and impact, Endstrand brings rare clarity to an anti-genre vision of brutality as an art form, and at any given moment, its militaristic threat feels real, sincere and like an appropriate and righteous comment on the terrors of our age. Fucking a.

Valborg on Thee Facebooks

Valborg at Prophecy Productions website

 

Obelyskkh, The Providence

obelyskkh-the-providence

Probably fair to call the current status of German post-doomers Obelyskkh in flux following the departure of guitarist Stuart West, but the band has said they’ll keep going and their fourth album, The Providence (on Exile on Mainstream) finds them capping one stage of their tenure with a decidedly forward-looking perspective. Its six-song/56-minute run borders on unmanageable, but that’s clearly the intent, and an air of proggy weirdness infects The Providence from the midsection of its opening title-track onward as the band – West, guitarist/vocalist Woitek Broslowski, bassist Seb Fischer and drummer Steve Paradise – tackle King Crimson rhythmic nuance en route to an effects-swirling vision of Lovecraftian doomadelia and massive roll. Cuts like “Raving Ones” and 13-minute side B leadoff “NYX” play out with a similarly deceptive multifaceted vibe, and by the time the penultimate “Aeons of Iconoclasm” bursts outward from its first half’s spacious minimalism into all-out High on Fire thrust ahead of the distortion-soaked churn of closer “Marzanna” – which ends, appropriately, with laughter topping residual effects noise – Obelyskkh make it abundantly clear anything goes. The most impressive aspect of The Providence is that Obelyskkh manage to control all this crunching chaos, and one hopes that as they continue forward, they’ll hold firm to that underlying consciousness.

Obelyskkh on Thee Facebooks

Exile on Mainstream Records website

 

Earth Electric, Vol. 1: Solar

earth-electric-vol-1-solar

Former Mayhem/Aura Noir guitarist Rune “Blasphemer” Ericksen leads breadth-minded Portuguese four-piece Earth Electric, and their devil-in-the-details Season of Mist debut, Vol. 1: Solar, runs a prog-metal gamut across a tightly-woven nine tracks and 35 minutes, Ericksen’s vocals and those of Carmen Susana Simões (Moonspell, ex-Ava Inferi) intertwine fluidly at the forefront of sharply angular riffing and rhythmic turns from bassist Alexandre Ribeiro and drummer Ricardo Martins. The organ-laced push of “Meditate Meditate” and “Solar” and the keyboard flourish of “Earthrise” (contributed by Dan Knight) draw as much from classic rock as metal, but the brew Earth Electric crafts from them is potent and very much the band’s own. “The Great Vast” and the shorter “Set Sail (Towards the Sun)” set up a direct flow into the title cut, and as one returns to Earth Electric for repeat listens, the actual scope of the album and the potential for how the band might continue to develop are likewise expansive, despite its many pulls into torrents of head-down riffing. Almost intimidating in its refusal to bow to genre.

Earth Electric on Thee Facebooks

Earth Electric at Season of Mist website

 

Olde, Temple

olde-temple

After debuting in 2014 with I (review here), Toronto’s Olde return via STB Records with Temple, proffering sludge-via-doom vibes and a center of weighted tonality around which the rest of their aesthetic would seem to be built, vocalist Doug McLarty’s throaty growls alternately cutting through and buried by the riffs of guitarists Greg Dawson (also production) and Chris “Hippy” Hughes, the bass of Cory McCallum and the rolling crashes of drummer Ryan Aubin (also of Sons of Otis) on tightly constructed pieces like “Now I See You” and the tempo-shifting “Centrifugal Disaster,” which reminds by its finish that sometimes all you need is nod. Olde have more to offer than just that, of course, as the plodding spaciousness of “The Ghost Narrative” and the lumbering “Maelstrom” demonstrate, but even in the turns between crush and more open spaces of the centerpiece title-track and the drifting post-heavy rock of closer “Castaway,” the underlying focus is on capital-‘h’ Heavy, and Olde wield it as only experts can.

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STB Records webstore

 

Deaf Radio, Alarm

deaf radio alarm

Based in Athens and self-releasing their debut album, Alarm, in multiple vinyl editions, the four-piece of Panos Gklinos, Dimitris Sakellariou, Antonis Mantakas and George Diathesopoulos – collectively known as Deaf Radio – make no bones about operating in the post-Queens of the Stone Age/Them Crooked Vultures sphere of heavy rock. To their credit, the songwriting throughout “Aggravation,” “Vultures and Killers” and the careening “Revolving Doors” lives up to that standard, and though even the later “Oceanic Feeling” seems to be informed by the methods of Josh Homme, there’s a melodic identity there that belongs more to Deaf Radio as well, and keeping Alarm in mind as their first long-player, it’s that identity that one hopes the band will continue to develop. Rounding out side B with the howling guitar and Rated R fuzz of the six-minute “…And We Just Pressed the Alarm Button,” Deaf Radio build to a suitable payoff for the nine-track outing and affirm the aesthetic foundation they’ve laid for themselves.

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Deaf Radio on Bandcamp

 

Saturndust, RLC

saturndust rlc

The further you go into Saturndust’s 58-minute second LP RLC, the more there is to find. At any given moment, the São Paulo, Brazil-based outfit can be playing to impulses ranging from proggy space rock, righteously doomed tonal heft, aggressive blackened thrust or spacious post-sludge – in one song. Over longform cuts like “Negative-Parallel Dimensional,” “RLC,” “Time Lapse of Existence” and closer “Saturn 12.C,” the trio cast a wide-enough swath to be not quite genreless but genuinely multi-tiered and not necessarily as disjointed as one might expect in their feel, and though when they want to, they roll out massive, lumbering riffs, that’s only one tool in a full arsenal at their apparent disposal. What tie RLC together are the sure hands of guitarist/vocalist Felipe Dalam, bassist Guilherme Cabral and drummer Douglas Oliveira guiding it, so that when the galloping-triplet chug of “Time Lapse of Existence” hits, it works as much in contrast to the synth-loaded “Titan” preceding as in conjunction with it. Rather than summarize, “Saturn 12.C” pushes far out on a wash of Dalam’s keyboards before a wide-stomping apex, seeming to take Saturndust to their farthest point beyond the stratosphere yet. Safe travels and many happy returns.

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Saturndust on Bandcamp

 

Birnam Wood, Triumph of Death

birnam wood triumph of death

Massachusetts doomers Birnam Wood have two prior EPs under their collective belt in 2015’s Warlord and a 2014 self-titled, but the two-songer single Triumph of Death (kudos on the Hellhammer reference) is my first exposure to their blend of modern progressive metal melody and traditional doom. They roll out both in able fashion on the single’s uptempo opening title-track and follow with the BlackSabbath-“Black-Sabbath” sparse notemaking early in their own “Birnam Wood.” All told, Triumph of Death is only a little over nine minutes long, but it makes for an encouraging sampling of Birnam Wood’s wares all the same, and as Dylan Edwards, Adam McGrath, Shaun Anzalone and Matt Wagner shift into faster swing circa the eponymous tune’s solo-topped midpoint, they do so with a genuine sense of homage that does little to take away from the sense of individuality they’ve brought to the style even in this brief context. They call it stoner metal, and there’s something to that, but if we’re going on relative balance, Triumph of Death is more doom-stoner than stoner-doom, and it revels within that niche-within-a-niche-within-a-niche sensibility.

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Birnam Wood on Bandcamp

 

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Quarterly Review: Les Discrets, Test Meat, Matus, Farflung, Carpet, Tricky Lobsters, Ten Foot Wizard & Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters, The Acid Guide Service, Skunk, The Raynbow

Posted in Reviews on July 10th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

quarterly-review-summer-2017

My friends, the time has come. Well, actually the time came about two weeks ago at the end of June, but I won’t tell if you don’t. Better late than never as regards all things, but most especially The Obelisk’s Quarterly Review, which this time around features releases recent, upcoming and a bit older, a mix of known and lesser known acts, and as always, hopefully enough of a stylistic swath to allow everyone whose eyes the series of posts catches to find something they dig between now and Friday. As always, it’ll be 50 records from now until then, 10 per day, and I see no reason not to jump right in, so let’s do that.

Quarterly Review #1-10:

Les Discrets, Prédateurs

les discrets Prédateurs

After offering a preview of their marked stylistic turn in last year’s Virée Nocturne EP (review here), Lyon, France’s Les Discrets return with the suitably nighttime-urbane vibing of their Prédateurs full-length via Prophecy Productions. Five years after Ariettes Oubliées (review here), Fursy Teyssier and company reinvent their approach to the sonic lushness of their earlier work, departing the sphere of post-black metal they previously shared with sister band Alcest in favor of an anything-goes heavy experimentalism more akin to Ulver on cuts like “Le Reproche” or the deeply atmospheric “Fleur des Murailles.” Drones pepper “Rue Octavio Mey” and closer “Lyon – Paris 7h34” effectively conveys the sense of journey its train-schedule title would hint toward, and indeed Les Discrets as a whole seem to be in flux throughout Prédateurs despite an overarching cohesion within each track. It’s a fine line between multifaceted and disjointed, but fortunately, Teyssier’s grip on melodicism is unflinching and enough to tie otherwise disparate ideas together here.

Les Discrets on Thee Facebooks

Les Discrets at Prophecy Productions

 

Test Meat, Demo

test meat demo

Considering the pedigree involved in guitarist/vocalist Darryl Shepard (ex-Milligram, Blackwolfgoat, Kind, etc.), bassist Aarne Victorine (UXO, Whitey) and drummer Michael Nashawaty (Planetoid, Bird Language), it’s little surprise that Test Meat’s Demo would have a pretty good idea of where it wants to come from. The five-track first showing from the Boston trio blends raw-edge grunge and noise rock on “He Don’t Know” after opening with its longest inclusion (immediate points) in the 3:50 “Cuffing Season,” and though centerpiece “Done” nods at the starts-and-stops of Helmet, the subsequent 2:35 push of “If You Wanna” is strikingly post-Nirvana, and closer “Permanent Festival” rounds out by bridging that gap via a still-straightforward heavy rock groove. Formative, yeah, but that’s the whole point. Test Meat revel in their barebones style and clearly aren’t looking to get overly lush, but one can’t help but be curious how or if they’ll develop a more melodic sensibility to go with the consuming, full buzzsaw tones they elicit here.

Test Meat on Thee Facebooks

Test Meat on Bandcamp

 

Matus, Intronauta

matus intronauta

Worth noting that while the opening cut here, “Claroscuro,” shares its title with Matus’ 2015 full-length (review here), that song didn’t actually appear on that album. Does that mean that the Lima, Peru, classic progressive rockers are offering leftovers from the same sessions on their new EP and perhaps final release, Intronauta? I don’t know, but the four tracks of the digital outing are a welcome arrival anyway, from the laid back easy vibes of the aforementioned opener through the riffier “Intronauta (Including Hasta Que El Sol Descanse en Paz),” the Theremin-soaked finish of the harder-driving “Catalina” and the acoustic-led four-part closer “Arboleda Bohemia,” which unfolds with lushness that remains consistent with the naturalism that has always been underlying in the band’s work. They’ve said their last few times out that the end is near, and if it’s true, they go out with a fully-cast sonic identity of their own and a take on ‘70s prog that remains an underrated secret of the South American underground.

Matus on Thee Facebooks

Matus on Bandcamp

 

Farflung, Unwound Celluloid Frown

farflung unwound celluloud frown

The jury, at least when it comes to the internet, still seems to be somewhat divided on whether the name of Farflung’s five-track/34-minute EP is Unwound Celluloid Frown or Unwound Cellular Frown. I’d say another argument is whether it’s an EP or an LP, but either way, let the follow-up to the more clearly-titled 2016 album (review here) demonstrate how nebulous the long-running Los Angeles space rockers can be when it suits them. Hugely and continually underrated, the troupe once again aligns to Heavy Psych Sounds for this release, which is rife with their desert-hued Hawkwindian thrust and weirdo vibes, permeating the rocket-fuel chug of the title-track and the noise-of-the-cosmos 13-minute headphone-fest that is “Axis Mundi,” which seems to end with someone coming home and putting down their car keys before a slowly ticking clock fades out and into the backwards swirling intro of lazily drifting closer “Silver Ghost with Crystal Spoons.” Yeah, it’s like that. Whatever you call it, the collection proves once again that Farflung are a secret kept too well.

Farflung on Thee Facebooks

Heavy Psych Sounds website

 

Carpet, Secret Box

carpet secret box

Immersive and progressive psychedelia unfolds from the very opening moments of Carpet’s third album, Secret Box (on Elektrohasch Schallplatten), as the Augsberg, Germany-based five-piece explore lush arrangements of Moog, Rhodes, trumpet, vibraphone, etc. around central compositions of fluid guitar-led melodies and engaging rhythms. Their 2015 Riot Kiss 7” (review here) and 2013 sophomore long-player, Elysian Pleasures (review here), came from a similar place in intent, but from the funk wah and percussion underscoring the pre-fuzz-explosion portion of “Best of Hard Times” and the okay-this-one’s-about-the-riff “Shouting Florence” to the serene ambience of “For Tilda” and ethereal fluidity of “Pale Limbs” later on, the secret of Secret Box seems to be that it’s actually a treasure chest in disguise. Opening with its longest track in “Temper” (immediate points), the album hooks its audience right away along a graceful, rich-sounding melodic flow and does not relinquish its hold until the last piano notes of the closing title-track offer a wistful goodbye. In between, Carpet execute with a poise and nuance all the more enjoyable for how much their own it seems to be.

Carpet on Thee Facebooks

Carpet on Bandcamp

 

Tricky Lobsters, Worlds Collide

tricky lobsters worlds collide

Full, natural production, crisp and diverse songwriting, right-on performances and a name you’re not about to forget – there’s nothing about Tricky Lobsters not to like. Worlds Collide is their sixth album and first on Exile on Mainstream, and the overall quality of their approach reminds of the kind of sonic freedom proffered by Astrosoniq, but the German trio of guitarist/vocalist Sarge, bassist/vocalist Doc and drummer/vocalist Captain Peters have their own statements to make as well in the stomping “Battlefields,” the mega-hook of “Big Book,” the dreamy midsection stretch of “Father and Son” and the progressive melody-making of “Tarred Albino” (video premiere here). The emphasis across the nine-song/42-minute outing is on craft, but whether it’s the patient unfolding of “Dreamdiver Pt. I & II” or the harp-and-fuzz blues spirit of closer “Needs Must,” Tricky Lobsters’ sonic variety comes paired with a level of execution that’s not to be overlooked. Will probably fly under more radars than it should, but if you can catch it, do.

Tricky Lobsters on Thee Facebooks

Tricky Lobsters at Exile on Mainstream Records

 

Ten Foot Wizard & Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters, Special

ten-foot-wizard-chubby-thunderous-bad-kush-masters-special

Dubbed Special for reasons that should be fairly obvious from looking at the cover art, this meeting of minds, riffs and cats between Manchester’s Ten Foot Wizard and London’s Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters brings four tracks – two per band – and goes so far as to find the groups collaborating on the former’s “Get Fucked,” which opens, and the latter’s “Dunkerque,” which begins their side of the 7”, as vocalists The Wailing Goblin (of Chubby Thunderous) and Gary Harkin (of Ten Foot Wizard) each sit in for a guest spot on the other band’s cuts. Both bands also offer a standalone piece, with Ten Foot Wizard digging into heavy rock burl on “Night Witches” and Chubby Thunderous blowing out gritty party sludge in “Nutbar,” which rounds out the offering, and between them they showcase well the sphere of the UK’s crowded but diverse heavy rock underground. Kind of a niche release in the spirit of Gurt and Trippy Wicked’s 2016 Guppy split/collab, but it works no less well in making its impact felt.

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Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush Masters on Thee Facebooks

 

The Acid Guide Service, Vol. 11

the acid guide service vol 11

It turns out that Vol. 11 is actually Vol. 1 for Garden City, Idaho, three-piece The Acid Guide Service, who dig into extended fuzz-overdose riffing on the 52-minute nine-tracker, proffering blown-out largesse even on shorter cuts like the five-minute “Into the Sky” while longer pieces like opener “Raptured” (7:16), “EOD” (9:38) and closer “Black Leather Jesus” (10:04) skirt lines between structure and jams as much as between heavy rock and psychedelia. Proffered by the trio of guitarist/vocalist Russ Walker, bassist/vocalist Tyler Walker and drummer Nick McGarvey, one can hear shades of Wo Fat in the guitar-led expanse of “Rock ‘n’ Roll (Is the Drug I’m On),” but on the whole, Vol. 11 speaks more to the late-‘90s/early-‘00s post-Kyuss stoner rock heyday, with flourish of Monster Magnet and Fu Manchu for good measure in the hard-swinging “Dude Rockin’” and its chugging companion piece, “Marauder King.” Big tones, big riffs, big groove. The Acid Guide Service are preaching to the converted, but clearly coming from a converted place themselves in so doing. Right on.

The Acid Guide Service on Thee Facebooks

The Acid Guide Service on Bandcamp

 

Skunk, Doubleblind

skunk doubleblind

Professing a self-aware love for the earliest days of heavy metal in idea and sound, Oakland’s Skunk offer their full-length debut with the self-released Doubleblind, following up on their 2015 demo, Heavy Rock from Elder Times (review here). That outing featured four tracks that also appear on Doubleblind – “Forest Nymph,” “Wizard Bong,” “Black Hash” and “Devil Weed.” Working on a theme? The theme is “stoned?” Yeah, maybe, but the cowbell-infused slider groove and standout hook of “Mountain Child” are just as much about portraying that ‘70s vibe as Skunk may or may not be about the reefer whose name they bear. Presumably more recent material like that song, “Doubleblind,” closer “Waitin’ Round on You” and leadoff cut “Forest Nymph” coherently blend impulses drawn from AC/DC, Sabbath and Zeppelin. John McKelvy’s vocals fit that spirit perfectly, and with the grit brought forth from guitarists Dmitri Mavra and Erik Pearson, bassist Matt Knoth and drummer Jordan Ruyle, Skunk dig into catchy, excellently-paced roller riffing and cast their debut in the mold of landmark forebears. Mothers, teach your children to nod.

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Skunk on Bandcamp

 

The Raynbow, The Cosmic Adventure

the raynbow the cosmic adventure

As they make their way through a temporal drift of three tracks that play between krautrocking jazz fusion, psychecosmic expansion and Floydian lushness, Kiev-based explorers The Raynbow keep immersion central to their liquefied purposes. The Cosmic Adventure (on Garden of Dreams Records) is an aptly-titled debut full-length, and the band who constructed it is comprised of upwards of eight parties who begin with the 16-minute opener and longest track (immediate points) “Changes,” which builds toward and through a metallic chug apex, sandwiching it on either side with ultra-patient molten tone and soundscaping that continues to flourish through the subsequent “Cosmic Fool” (5:17) and “Blue Deep Sea Eyes” (8:18), the whole totaling a still-manageable outward trip into reaches of slow-moving space rock that whether loud or quiet at any individual moment more than earns a volume-up concentrated headphone listen. The kind of outfit one could easily imagine churning out multiple albums in a single year, The Raynbow nonetheless deliver a dream on The Cosmic Adventure that stands among the best first offerings I’ve heard in 2017.

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Garden of Dreams Records on Bandcamp

 

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Tricky Lobsters Premiere “Tarred Albino” Video

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 12th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

tricky-lobsters-Photo-Christian-Thiele

Preorders have shipped for Tricky Lobsters‘ sixth album, Worlds Collide, and man, this one just has ‘sleeper hit’ written all over it. Last month, when the long-running Northern German trio announced the full-length would be released June 23 via Exile on Mainstream, that was enough to perk up my ears to what they were doing in the video for organ-laced album opener “Bitter Man’s Fame” that accompanied, but as I’ve had the opportunity since to dig further into the full-length, it’s a work of marked quality of songwriting — mature and memorable and experienced befitting a sixth outing — but energetic and not at all staid-sounding.

With variety of texture between cuts like “Battlefields,” the moody centerpiece “Black and Blue” and the come-on-that’s-so-catchy-it’s-not-even-fair hooks like that of “Big Book,” the nine-track/42-minute Worlds Collide is somewhat less rambunctious than its title might lead you to believe, but that’s true if only because it’s so damn cohesive in its purpose in the meantime. To wit, the flow between the verse/chorus trades and the hypnotic bridge of “Father and Son” and the ultra-effective linearity of the seven-minute “Dreamdiver Pt. I & II” that leads into the tense charge of the penultimate “The Fire” and the fuzz-funk-blues of closer “Needs Must.” Through all these changes, the Rostock-based trio of guitarist/vocalist Sarge, bassist/vocalist Doc and drummer/vocalist Captain Peters skillfully guide their audience along the path they’ve set, bolstered universally by songcraft and quality of performance.

Accordingly, though it doesn’t necessarily represent the entire scope of Worlds Collide, you can get sense of some of what Tricky Lobsters — who, once again, win outright when it comes to band monikers — are up to in terms of the general clarity of production and delivery in the clip for “Tarred Albino” below, which captures footage live and in the studio from throughout last year and this year.

They’ll reportedly have another clip out as well before the album hits, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for that as well. In the meantime, please enjoy:

Tricky Lobsters, “Tarred Albino” official video

2nd video release from the forthcoming album “Worlds Collide”, out 06-23-2017.

filmed live 2016/2017
featuring Sebastian “Sebel” Niehoff on Hammond Organ
camera (studio shots): Jörg Peters
cut/edit: Justus Tanz @ http://www.underdok.de

Engineered and produced by drummer Jörg Peters at Blue Hospital in Rostock in 2017, the three northerners follow diverse paths through rock history and bind them together on Worlds Collide, their sixth official release to date. Now in their twenty-first year of existence, with Worlds Collide, TRICKY LOBSTERS present trademark groove and riffs, born from melodies and lyrics deeply rooted in old and recurring stories of love, dreams and deception. The record paints a vivid picture of their current world, and the one behind them.

Exile On Mainstream will issue Worlds Collide on CD, LP, and digital formats on June 23rd. Stream brief clips of all of the album’s tracks and find preorders for all formats HERE.

TRICKY LOBSTERS Tour Dates:
6/23/2017 Helgas Stadtpalast – Rostock, DE *record release show
6/30/2017 Rock an der Ilm Festival – Langenwiesen, DE
7/01/2017 Hangar Metal Meeting – Bad Duerrenberg, DE
7/28/2017 Festevil Nopperhof – Buetzow, DE

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Tricky Lobsters website

Exile on Mainstream Records website

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Tricky Lobsters Release Worlds Collide June 23; New Video & Preorders Posted

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

German heavy rockers Tricky Lobsters — who, let’s be honest here, pretty much win the day when it comes to band names — will release their new album, Worlds Collide, via respected purveyor Exile on Mainstream on June 23. Preorders are up now for the record, which is the sixth from the Rostock three-piece, and as a teaser, the band have a new video for the track “Bitter Man’s Fame” that you can see below. It features many different faces. Lots of faces. Faces here and faces there. Faces all over the place(s).

The PR wire brought album info and live dates from the band for the digging:

tricky-lobsters-Photo-Christian-Thiele

TRICKY LOBSTERS: Exile On Mainstream Presents Worlds Collide LP By Doom/Blues Rock Trio; Video For “Bitter Man’s Fame” And Preorders Posted

Exile On Mainstream presents the new Worlds Collide LP by groove-heavy German blues/doom rock trio TRICKY LOBSTERS, setting the record for June release, and issuing an official video for the track “Bitter Man’s Fame.”

If the term “insider tip” wasn’t so drawn-out, it could be repeatedly used to describe TRICKY LOBSTERS. From noise to punk rock in the early years, from rock’n’roll to the gnarly sludge blues rock on their prior LP, The Blue Hospital Conspiracy, their body of work includes pretty much everything with a noisy edge. After nearly four years in the wilderness, but their legacy not unsung, the Baltic Sea-based band continues their travels in a kind of western-driven, grand finale and face off in an epic clash of stories, riffs and drama on Worlds Collide.

Engineered and produced by drummer Jörg Peters at Blue Hospital in Rostock in 2017, the three northerners follow diverse paths through rock history and bind them together on Worlds Collide, their sixth official release to date. Now in their twenty-first year of existence, with Worlds Collide, TRICKY LOBSTERS present trademark groove and riffs, born from melodies and lyrics deeply rooted in old and recurring stories of love, dreams and deception. The record paints a vivid picture of their current world, and the one behind them.

TRICKY LOBSTERS present a video for the track “Bitter Man’s Fame.” the first single from Worlds Collide, the video filmed by Christian Thiele and edited by Michael Gröper and Rainer Hochmuth.

Exile On Mainstream will issue Worlds Collide on CD, LP, and digital formats on June 23rd. Stream brief clips of all of the album’s tracks and find preorders for all formats HERE.

Stand by for two more official videos from Worlds Collide to be issued preceding the album’s street date.

German fans can catch TRICKY LOBSTERS on perform throughout the country over the weeks ahead in support of the album, including a record release show and several festival performances, with additional dates to be announced.

TRICKY LOBSTERS Tour Dates:
5/25/2017 Aukrug Open Air Festival – Aukrug, DE
6/04/2017 Pfingstrock Entenfang Festival – Torgau, DE
6/23/2017 Helgas Stadtpalast – Rostock, DE *record release show
6/30/2017 Rock an der Ilm Festival – Langenwiesen, DE
7/01/2017 Hangar Metal Meeting – Bad Duerrenberg, DE
7/28/2017 Festevil Nopperhof – Buetzow, DE

https://www.facebook.com/trickylobsters.rostock
http://www.trickylobsters.de
http://www.mainstreamrecords.de

Tricky Lobsters, “Bitter Man’s Fame” official video

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Obelyskkh to Release The Providence this Spring; Album Trailer Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 7th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

obelyskkh

German sludge riffers Obelyskkh — who get an A+ for their moniker and a B- for spelling — will issue their fourth album, The Providence, this Spring via Exile on Mainstream. I haven’t reviewed anything they’ve done since 2012, but I’ve bought all three of their records to date, so I’ll look forward to picking up this fourth one as well. Nothing against writing about them, it just hasn’t happened in half a decade apparently. Not like I’ve been avoiding it. You’d think I’d post every time they cut a fart, just so I could type their name out again in some kind of half-hearted phoenetic self-promotion. Some things I just can’t figure out.

Anyhoo, they’ve got a trailer posted for The Providence that actually seems to give a sense of the vibe of the album as a whole, rather than just teasing one track or a part of a track or something. From what I can tell, it sounds like the cover looks. Dark, electric, heavy, vaguely phallic, and so on. Dig in and see what you think, then prepare your head if you’re in the US to wait until June for it to come out. Europe gets it in April. Europe gets all the good stuff. Especially in April.

The PR wire has it as follows:

obelyskkh the providence

OBELYSKKH: German Sludge Act Completes Fourth Album, The Providence; Exile On Mainstream Posts Trailer + Preorders

Three years in the making, Germany’s doom/sludge kingpins OBELYSKKH have completed their fourth full-length, and are preparing The Providence for release through their steady label home of Exile On Mainstream this Spring.

The Providence was again recorded and mixed by Andy Naucke and mastered by Brad Boatright (Sleep, Tragedy, High On Fire, From Ashes Rise, Integrity), and again sees cover art crafted by Sebastian Feld/Marginal Ink. The album will be released on all digital platforms, CD, and 2xLP with three sides of music and a Side D etching.

OBELYSKKH’s The Providence will see release on April 21st in Europe, and on June 2nd through new AISA/Red/Sony stateside distribution in the US. European physical preorders are available now at THIS LOCATION. Stand by for US and digital preorders, new tracks from the album, and more to be released in the weeks ahead.

The Providence Track Listing:
1. The Providence
2. Raving Ones
3. Northern Lights
4. NYX
5. Aeons Of Iconoclasm
6. Marzanna

The title of the new OBELYSKKH excursion might remind one of H. P. Lovecraft’s iconic poem, and you’d not be wrong, as these classic words provided inspiration for lyrical content and the artwork for The Providence. But that’s only one dimension. The other is illustrated almost perfectly by French revolutionist Victor Hugo: “Above all, you can believe in Providence in either of two ways, either as thirst believes in the orange, or as the ass believes in the whip.” The band lived by this message, beating the record out of themselves, fighting an uphill battle.

Following the 2013 release of the band’s groundbreaking third album, Hymn To Pan, which struck less than one year after its predecessor, White Lightnin’, the Franconian doomsters found themselves in a state of turmoil and a line-up change with bass player Dirty Dave being replaced by Seb Duster. These ups and downs, alongside the massive honesty and emotionality in the band’s routines, developed monstrous pressure, which is sonically channeled into this album, The Providence surging with massive weight, groove, and darkness. The album sees OBELYSKKH leaving huge parts of their former approach behind. Less psychedelic, with more groove — not stoner rock, but more on the side of doom than grueling sludge – yet still delivered in a crushing maelstrom.

OBELYSKKH has booked a run of European tour dates in conjunction with the album’s release, with shows in Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Austria from April 7th through April 20th, with more shows to be announced throughout the months ahead.

OBELYSKKH Tour Dates:
4/07/2017 Ebrietas – Zürich, CH
4/08/2017 Goldgrube – Kassel, DE
4/09/2017 Cafe de Jack – Eindhoven, NL
4/10/2017 Music City – Antwerp, BE
4/11/2017 Nexus – Braunschweig, DE
4/12/2017 Kulturbahnhof – Jena, DE
4/20/2017 Nihilistic Arts Festival – Wilhering, AU

http://www.facebook.com/TheObelyskkhRitual
https://obelyskkh.bandcamp.com
https://twitter.com/OBELYSKKH_DOOM
http://www.mainstreamrecords.de

Obelyskkh, The Providence album trailer

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Quarterly Review: Spiritual Beggars, Øresund Space Collective, Goya, Black Shape of Nexus, Cough, Oranssi Pazuzu, Karma to Burn, Black Mood, Nebula Drag, Ommadon

Posted in Reviews on June 21st, 2016 by JJ Koczan

the-obelisk-summer-2016-quarterly-review

Day Two of The Obelisk’s Summer 2016 Quarterly Review — that’s an awful lot of capital letters. I’m not sure if it’s quite such a formal occasion, but perhaps that’s just an effect of staring at some of the names in this particular batch, who from classic heavy rock to post-black metal to stoner riffs, drone, doom and beyond offer a pretty vast range and more than a small measure of profile throughout. It’s a substantial swath, is what I’m saying. If you can’t find something here to dig on, well, I’d say look again, but of course there’ll also be another 10 reviews tomorrow, Thursday and Friday, and there were 10 yesterday as well, so I’m sure something will turn up if it hasn’t yet. Here we go.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

Spiritual Beggars, Sunrise to Sundown

spiritual beggars sunrise to sundown

More than 20 years on from their self-titled debut, Sweden’s Spiritual Beggars release their ninth LP, Sunrise to Sundown (on Inside Out Music). They seem to have set themselves to the sole task of making the records that one wishes Deep Purple were making, full of righteous organ-laced classic heavy thrust, driven by top tier songwriting and performance on every level. Founding guitarist Michael Amott (also Carcass) has assembled a lineup of masters, and since 2010’s Return to Zero (review here), frontman Apollo Papathanasio (also Firewind) has provided the soaring voice to add to the keyboard majesty of Per Wiberg (ex-Opeth, Candlemass) on songs like “I Turn to Stone.” The album’s 11 cuts are catchy, universally structured, and varied in their feel enough to carry the listener through fluidly, bassist Sharlee D’Angelo (Mercyful Fate) and drummer Ludwig Witt (ex-Firebird) locking in weighted grooves and underscoring the flow of what comes across like an increasingly collaborative songwriting process. Sunrise to Sundown is the sound of a band knowing what they want to do and how they want to do it and then doing precisely that.

Spiritual Beggars on Thee Facebooks

Inside Out Music website

 

Øresund Space Collective, Ode to a Black Hole

oresund space collective ode to a black hole

How many records does Ode to a Black Hole make it for Danish improve spacelords Øresund Space Collective? I honestly don’t know. Their Bandcamp lists 52 releases. Granted, not all of them are full-length studio LPs, but they jam whether they’re live or in the studio, so after a point it’s kind of moot. However many in the ultimate tally, Ode to a Black Hole is somewhat unique among them, exploring the darker side of the cosmic reaches in a bleaker, droning psychedelia spread across two instrumental tracks put to tape at the same time as 2015’s triple-LP Different Creatures (review here). Of course, it’s Øresund Space Collective, so there is still plenty of synth and effects swirl to be had, but it’s a slower galaxial movement as “Ode to a Black Hole Part 1” feeds directly into “Ode to a Black Hole Part 2.” Whatever their method of getting there, Øresund Space Collective prove once again how apparently boundless their scope has become with nuance of guitar and key flourish beneath the surface of the mix to let the listener know there’s life out in the expanse.

Øresund Space Collective on Thee Facebooks

Øresund Space Collective on Bandcamp

 

Goya, The Enemy

goya the enemy

Phoenix, Arizona’s Goya continue their forward march with The Enemy EP (on STB Records). Still fair to say Electric Wizard are a primary influence, but as shown on their last full-length, 2015’s charmingly-titled Obelisk (review here), the trio are increasingly able to put more of themselves into their sound. In “The Enemy,” “Last” and “Light Years,” that shows in tighter songwriting, some vocal harmonies on “Light Years,” and a harder overall tonal impact than the tenets of post-Witchcult Today doomery might lead one to expect, reminding in parts of the raw in-room feel that Egypt have come to proffer, burly but more about groove than attitude. The EP closes with a nine-minute take on “The Enemy” itself, adding more harmonies, some screams at the end, and a lengthy midsection jam to flesh out its extra four minutes. Goya have been and still are a bright spot (existentially, if not in mood) in up-and-coming US doom, and The Enemy might be a stopgap coming off of Obelisk, but it reminds listeners of their growth very much still in progress.

Goya on Thee Facebooks

STB Records

 

Black Shape of Nexus, Carrier

black shape of nexus carrier

In a universe full of pretenders to the throne of Eyehategod, German six-piece Black Shape of Nexus prove there’s room for genuine creativity in sludge. Their fourth offering, Carrier (on Exile on Mainstream), finds them past the 10-year mark and lumbering their way through five varied originals, from the cavernous opener “I Can’t Play It” through the droning “Lift Yourself” and the utter spacecrush that ensues in “Facepunch Transport Layer” before the villainous laughter at the end of “Sachsenheim” leads to a 12-minute take on Hellhammer’s “Triumph of Death,” which closes. It feels like no coincidence that of the Black Shape of Nexus-penned inclusions “Sand Mountain” is the centerpiece; the tortured screaming, claustrophobic riff and blend of rawness and lush depth speak to the originality at the core of their approach. There’s a firm sense of fuckall here, and my understanding is making Carrier was something of a trial, but the results are perhaps only more vicious for that, and thus stronger.

Black Shape of Nexus on Thee Facebooks

Exile on Mainstream Records website

 

Cough, Still They Pray

cough still they pray

Six years and the ascent of an entire movement of similarly-minded acts later, Cough ooze back to activity with Still They Pray (on Relapse), their dirt-caked third full-length. That movement, by the way, includes fellow Richmonders Windhand, with whom Cough now share bassist Parker Chandler and whose Garrett Morris recorded here along with Jus Oborn of Electric Wizard, who remain a major influence in Cough’s grueling, nodding filth, brought to bear over eight tracks and a purposefully unmanageable 67-minute runtime. Stylistically it’s not so far from where Cough were on 2010’s Ritual Abuse (review here), the bleak anarchistic lurch and tonal immersion still very much at the fore of “Possession,” “Dead Among the Roses” and the organ-inclusive “The Wounding Hours,” but though they can play slow enough to make “Masters of Torture” seem positively thrashy by comparison, they never lose their sense of atmosphere, as the acoustic-led closing title-track makes plain in fashion no less heavy than the punishment meted out before it.

Cough on Thee Facebooks

Relapse Records website

 

Oranssi Pazuzu, Värähtelijä

oranssi pazuzu varahtelija

It feels factually inaccurate to call something so wilfully charred “vibrant,” but Oranssi Pazuzu’s fourth long-player, Värähtelijä (on Svart and 20 Buck Spin), not only finds light in its overarching darkness, but makes it a pivotal aspect of the album’s 69-minute course. Open structures, an enviable depth of mix between far-off guitar, keys, organ, various layers of screams, etc., songs like 12-minute opener “Saturaatio” and the later 17-minute chaoswirl of “Vasemann Käden Hierarkia” offer stylistic breadth as much prog as they are psychedelia or black metal, perhaps the next phase of the latter’s cosmic wing come to fruition. Relatively speaking, the more straightforward “Havuluu” offers listeners a moment to catch their breadth, but the organ-led experimentalism of 10-minute closer “Valveavaruus” gurgles in an exploration of ambient downward plunge. One of the most adventurous black metal releases of 2016, if you can still even tag a genre to it, which I’m not sure you can. A band doing pivotal and forward-thinking work.

Oranssi Pazuzu on Thee Facebooks

20 Buck Spin webshop

Svart Records webshop

 

Karma to Burn, Mountain Czar

karma to burn mountain czar

Though they just got off a lengthy US run, the fact that Karma to Burn’s webstore offers their new Mountain Czar EP in euro instead of dollars could easily be taken as a sign of where the band’s general priorities lie. I don’t know if founding guitarist Will Mecum is actually living abroad or remains in West Virginia, but their label, Rodeostar Records, is European, they maintain a close relationship with German artist Alexander Von Wieding, and their tour schedule keeps a definite continental focus. So be it. Mountain Czar brings five new cuts, three by-the-numbers Karma to Burn instrumentals, the highlight of which is patient, jangly-guitar closer “63,” and “Uccidendo un Sogno,” an Italian-language cover of Tom Petty’s “Runnin’ down a Dream” sung by guest vocalist Stefanie Savy and featuring Manuel Bissig of Switzerland’s Sons of Morpheus on guitar. Karma to Burn very much remain Karma to Burn throughout, Mecum joined by drummer Evan Devine and bassist Eric Clutter, but they’re changing what that means in interesting ways.

Karma to Burn website

Rodeostar Records

 

Black Mood, Squalid Garden

black mood squalid garden

Comprised solely of guitarist/vocalist Sleaze and drummer Izz, German Southern metallers Black Mood begin their seven-song sophomore outing, Squalid Garden (on Daredevil Records) with a sample of Cornelius from Planet of the Apes quoting the Lawgiver to “shun the beast man,” and so on. By the time they get around to the chugging and warbling “Ohh, save my soul” in second cut “IWNAR,” the Down/Crowbar vibe has been laid on so thick that it’s unmistakable. It’s been seven years since Black Mood made their self-titled debut in 2009 – they had an EP, Toxic Hippies, out in 2012 – but their chestbeating, dudely vibes are easily sourced, even in faster, more Pantera-style moments in “Reflected,” “100 Squalid Garden” or closer “Side,” making the album ultimately a matter of taste for anyone who’d take it on. For me, some aspects ring derivative, others show flashes of individualism, but it’s a very specific vision of Southern metal at work here, and it’s not going to be for everyone.

Black Mood on Bandcamp

Daredevil Records webshop

 

Nebula Drag, Nebula Drag

nebula-drag-nebula-drag

Newcomers Nebula Drag join the ranks of a crowded heavy psych scene in their native San Diego via their self-titled, self-released debut, but the trio distinguish themselves immediately with a solidified underpinning of punkish intent, so that the airy vocals of “Sano” float over an insistent, noisy crunch. That blend is toyed with in one direction or another throughout the release, the five-minute “So Low” finding some middle-ground in grunge push, but as the subsequent “Up and Down”’s Melvins-style roll and the hardcore-style drive of “Lost Time” play out, Nebula Drag seem far less tied to any single approach. It’s a dynamic that serves them well throughout the album’s 10-track/37-minute run, and they maintain a sense of rawness in the almost thrashy breakdown of “I Can Not Explain” that speaks to a lack of pretense to go along with their potential for development. Will be curious to hear if one side or the other wins out in their sound over the long-term, but in a town where so many bands are geared on being the most laid back, it’s refreshing to hear a group with a more forceful tack.

Nebula Drag on Thee Facebooks

Nebula Drag on Bandcamp

 

Ommadon, Ommadon

ommadon ommadon

After a series of numbered full-lengths, Glasgow consciousness-stompers Ommadon offer their self-titled sixth album through Dry Cough Records, Burning World Records and Medusa Crush Recordings. Doubtless the three labels were needed in order simply lift the 41-minute, single-song release, which is so unspeakably and ridiculously heavy as to warrant comparison to Buried at Sea’s Migration. Its retching lumber is superlative, and in giving it their name, Ommadon signal (and say outright) that it’s the work they’ve been driving toward all along. Fair enough. There is no moment of relenting from the abysmal intentions of “Ommadon” itself, and if this is to be the piece that ultimately defines the band, it’s one worthy of consideration for the outright extremity it brings to doom, sludge and drone, as well as the methodical nature in which it unfolds. Whatever its ultimate impact, Ommadon have pushed themselves forward and crafted an excruciating contribution that feels like a monolith bent to their will.

Ommadon on Thee Facebooks

Dry Cough Records webshop

Burning World Records

Medusa Crush Recordings on Bandcamp

 

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Conny Ochs Posts Trailer for Future Fables; Album out in Feb.

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 15th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

Though of course he’ll be known to readers as the Conny Ochs half of the Wino & Conny Ochs troubadour duo, the German singer-songwriter now has two solo offerings under his belt, each one emotionally resonant to and beyond the point of catharsis. His third outing is titled Future Fables — the cover art is below — and is set to release Feb. 26 via Exile on Mainstream Records. If the trailer that follows the PR wire announcement is anything to judge from, the melancholy continues unabated.

Art, info, links and video follow, arranged thusly:

conny ochs future fables

CONNY OCHS Completes Third Solo LP, Future Fables, For February Release Through Exile On Mainstream; Trailer Issued

Melancholic German singer/songwriter CONNY OCHS has completed his third full-length album, Future Fables, now confirmed for release this February via Exile On Mainstream records, the label this week unveiling a brief glimpse into the album through an exclusive trailer.

Earlier in 2015, having released Freedom Conspiracy (Exile On Mainstream) with fellow Scott “Wino” Weinrich (St. Vitus, The Obsessed, Shrinebuilder) and completed some touring across Europe, CONNY OCHS returned to the studio at the end of the Summer, once again with producer/engineer/studio owner Thommy Krawallo, with whom his previous album, Black Happy and both collaborative albums with Wino were created in full analog fashion. The Kabumm Studio had just relocated from its historic location in a former East German and Soviet government radio complex in Berlin, to the wilderness of a rural Brandenburg village. OCHS went in with a bag full of sketches and licks, inhaling the raw atmosphere of the surroundings, a yet unfinished house full of instruments and equipment in the middle of nowhere, also trying to find its place. This unstable environment birthed a new start for him, letting in much more than a breeze of fresh air by widening his instrumental repertoire to drums, electric guitars, piano, bass and organ. The lyrics and stories circulate more than ever around people encountered and journeys undertaken over the past years – the album title referring to our tendency to give an unwritten future some kind of tangibility through dreams and visions.

“We find and leave traces for the future. The lives that cross our paths and the lives we lead just as much as the dreams and visions we share – growing to be from what this future will be inspired and made of. This is the journey these songs are about.”

Future Fables will see release through Exile On Mainstream on February 26th, 2016. Stand by for additional audio samples, preorder links and more album specifics in the weeks ahead.

Future Fables Track Listing:
1. Hole
2. Piece Of Heaven
3. Killer
4. Spin
5. Wake Up
6. Empire
7. Golden Future
8. Slide
9. No Easy Way
10. Fools
11. Strange Alchemy
12. Make Some Room

CONNY OCHS and labelmate Friedemann will celebrate a series of record release shows together surrounding the release of both of their new LPs, with shows across Germany in Leipzig, Quedlinburg, Herzberg and Dresden February 18th through 21st. Stand by for additional live performances to be announced shortly.

CONNY OCHS Double Record Release Shows w/ Friedemann:
2/18/2016 UT Connewitz – Leipzig, DE
2/19/2016 Reichstrasse – Quedlinburg, DE
2/20/2016 P-Party – Herzberg, DE
2/21/2016 Chemiefabrik – Dresden, DE

http://www.connyochs.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Conny-Ochs/112536815501097
http://www.mainstreamrecords.de

Conny Ochs, Future Fables album trailer

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Treedeon Premiere “Terracide” from Lowest Level Reincarnation

Posted in audiObelisk on January 20th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

treedeon

“Terracide” feels somewhat tucked away in the tracklist of German noise rockers Treedeon‘s debut album, Lowest Level Reincarnations. The closer, it arrives after the lumbering 12 minutes of the title-track, a monstrous and thick, dual-vocalized barrage, and it feels decidedly more barebones, more in line with earlier cuts like “Wendigo” or “Satan’s Need.” Both of those are also shorter bursts of aggression that speaks to the noise pedigree of guitarist/vocalist Arne Heesch in Ulme and bassist/vocalist Yvonne Ducksworth in Jingo de Lunch.

Treedeon got together — initially as an acoustic project; something they got over as you’ll hear — when Heesch and Ducksworth‘s bands went belly-up, and on their Exile on Mainstream debut, they’re joined by drummer Christian “Boomer” Böhm, who underscores the lumber and the plunder with suitable thud, as a live-sounding track like “Blankapitation” demonstrates,Treedeon_Vinyl_test Ducksworth taking the lead vocal early on after Heesch helmed the eight-minute opener “Love Turns Liquid.” They trade back and forth between and within songs effectively, with particularly nasty results on “Venus with Teeth,” but on “Terracide,” it’s Ducksworth at the fore, backed by Heesch‘s screams and the densely-toned, insistent rhythm, still somehow punkishly mean.

Lowest Level Reincarnations releases on April 7 in North America (earlier in Europe, it looks like), and in wanting some background about the band, it seemed only fair to turn to Exile on Mainstream head honcho Andreas Kohl, whose deeply admirable tastes have led to celebrated signings for BeehooverWinoDarsombra and Black Shape of Nexus, among many others. Kohl offers some perspective on what stood out to him about Treedeon in the quote which you can find after “Terracide” itself, which is streamable on the player below.

Please enjoy:

Andreas Kohl on Treedeon:

In what has become an over 15 years history of Exile On Mainstream I have seen a lot happening when it comes to bands becoming a part of the family and history of this label this – from the somehow traditional way of listening to a demo, seeing the band playing live, being a longtime fan to establishing a friendship first and later getting hooked on what their musical approach and output is.

The signing of Treedeon now marks walking this path full circle and simultaneously adds a new, almost holistic way of incorporating a band in the Exile On Mainstream roster as I had the fortune of watching a band finding themselves, trying out different ways and approaches to finding their sound and observing their progressions. It was stunning to see how the three-piece became what they are now: one of Europe’s most staggering outfits to lay pure emotional heaviness in sound and attitude over your maltreated souls. Get stunned as I am. NOW.

Treedeon on Thee Facebooks

Treedeon website

Exile on Mainstream

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