Swallow the Sun Post “Heartstrings Shattering” Lyric Video; Euro Tour Announced

Posted in Bootleg Theater on October 7th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

swallow the sun (Photo by Jussi Ratialainen Photography)

My immediate question on seeing that Swallow the Sun had a new lyric video for the track “Heartstrings Shattering” from their upcoming Songs from the North I, II and III full-length was to which of those three parts the cut belonged. The Finnish death-doom six-piece will release the album on Nov. 13 through Century Media, and the triple-disc outing follows the format of playing toward their particular style both in its whole and in the parts that make it up, the first chapter being their typical approach, the second an acoustic outing and the third a more extreme, presumably death metal, vision.

I’ve noted a couple times already the ambitiousness of the project and that I’m looking forward to hearing how it’s all turned out. “Heartstrings Shattering” comes from the first of the three parts, and sure enough, it blends melancholic, melodic passages — in this case using a guest vocalist and all — with the band’s post-Peaceville take on doom, shades of classic My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost cast over more modern chug and fluid transitions from one modus to another. Ultimately, it’s as lush as it is pummeling, and that’s no doubt why it was chosen to be the first audio to be made public from the work as a whole. I don’t imagine it was easy to pick a track with three records’ worth of material on-hand.

Swallow the Sun have also announced a European tour for next month, and you can find those dates under the lyric video below, courtesy of the PR wire:

Swallow the Sun, “Heartstrings Shattering” lyric video

SWALLOW THE SUN launch lyric video for “Heartstrings Shattering”

SWALLOW THE SUN have just launched a lyric video for their brand new song “Heartstrings Shattering”, taken from the first part of their upcoming triple album!

Songs from the North I, II & III will be released on November 13, 2015 via Century Media Records!

Incorporating dark menace and gradations of death, black and funeral doom, each of the three albums of “Songs from the North I, II & III” embodies the band’s unofficial band motto, “Gloom, Beauty & Despair”:

Songs from the North I continues in the vein of the albums before it – first-rate death-doom in the typical style of SWALLOW THE SUN.

Songs from the North II is a beautiful, acoustic foray representing the group’s ability to unplug and revel in the darkness.

Songs from the North III is the most extreme album, a complete ride into SWALLOW THE SUN’s most horrific abyss of finely-crafted, conscience-crushing funeral doom.

In addition to the launch of the new lyric video, SWALLOW THE SUN have also announced a European headlining tour dates for November/December 2015! They will be accompanied by fellow countrymen Wolfheart and further support bands that will be announced soon. See below for the exact dates!

11.26. Berlin, K17, DE
11.27. Hamburg, Headcrash, DE
11.28. Rotterdam, Baroeg, NL
11.29. Apeldoorn, TBC, NL
11.30. Paris, Glazart, FR
12.4. Valencia, Rock City, ES
12.5. Barcelona, Apolo 2, ES
12.6. Madrid, Caracol, ES
12.8. Montpellier, Secret Place, FR
12.9. Pratteln, Z7, CH
12.10. Brescia, Circolo Colony, IT
12.11. Ljbubljana, Orto Bar, SL
12.12. Budapest, Dürer Kert, HU
12.13. Kosice, Colosseum Club, SK
12.14. Krakau, Club Rotunda, PL
12.15. Vienna, Viper Room, AT
12.16. Munchen, Backstage, DE
12.17. Weinheim, Café Zentralbar, DE
12.18. Vosselaar, Biebob, BE
12.19. Bochum, Matrix, DE

Juha Raivio – guitar
Markus Jämsen – guitar
Mikko Kotamäki – vocals
Matti Honkonen -bass
Aleksi Munter – keys
Juuso Raatikainen – drums

Swallow the Sun website

Swallow the Sun on Thee Facebooks

Swallow the Sun on Twitter

Swallow the Sun at Century Media

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Quarterly Review: We Lost the Sea, Dark Buddha Rising, Red Mountains, Black Space Riders, Lamprey, Godsleep, Slow Joe Crow & the Berserker Blues Band, Monobrow, Denizen, Witchsorrow

Posted in Reviews on October 1st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


We’re in the thick of it now. It’s hard sometimes putting these things together to remember that each band has worked incredibly hard to put out an album. I’ve been through that process (once), and so I know it can be harrowing at times between acts going back and forth about recording, what’s included, how to release, when, and so on. There’s a lot to cover this week — and we’re not out of the woods yet — but I hope that, just because each review is short, you don’t take that as a sign I don’t have the utmost respect for the effort that has gone into making each of these releases. It can be a tremendous pain in the ass, but of course it’s worth it when you get to the end product. We continue.

Fall 2015 Quarterly Review #31-40:

We Lost the Sea, Departure Songs

we lost the sea departure songs

To be blunt, We Lost the Sea’s Departure Songs is the kind of album that immediately makes me want to own everything the band has done, in hard copy, for posterity. The Sydney outfit’s third full-length finds its crux in its two-part closing duo of “Challenger Part 1 – Flight” and “Challenger Part 2 – A Swan Song,” enacting a lush instrumental interpretation of the Space Shuttle Challenger flight and disaster that took place nearly 30 years ago in Jan. 1986. In its progression, patience, flow and discernable narrative thread it is nothing short of brilliant, a lush and sad beauty that serves as a genuinely affecting reminder of the hope for a better future that died with that shuttle’s civilian crew and the era of aspiration that tragedy brought to a close. I think the closing sample is the only time I’ve ever heard Ronald Reagan speak in my adult life and felt something other than anger, and that’s a testament to the ground Departure Songs covers – on the preceding three cuts as well as the final two – and the masterful execution on the part of We Lost the Sea.

We Lost the Sea on Thee Facebooks

We Lost the Sea on Bandcamp

Dark Buddha Rising, Inversum

dark buddha rising inversum

There does not yet exist a name for what Finland’s Dark Buddha Rising bring to bear on the two side-consuming tracks of their Neurot Recordings debut and sixth album overall, Inversum. Self-recorded and presented following some shifts in lineup, the album swells to a massive head of bleak, noise-infused psychedelia, fully ritualized and self-aware but still vibrant as it makes its way further and further down into itself. It is bright black, based so much around contrasting ideas of form and tonality that to listen to it, one almost doesn’t believe that the band are accomplishing what they are on an aesthetic level, but the weight, chants, screams, cavernous feel and nod that “Eso” (24:05) and “Exo” (23:52) enact is ultimately real no matter how nightmarish and otherworldly the impression might be. A work that sounds as likely to digest as be digested, it constructs a temple of its own sound and then burns that temple and everything around it in a glorious final push into charred chaos.

Dark Buddha Rising on Thee Facebooks

Dark Buddha Rising at Neurot Recordings

Red Mountains, Down with the Sun

red mountains down with the sun

Few endorsements carry as much weight for me as that of Germany’s Nasoni Records, so when I see that venerable imprint is on board for the release of Red Mountains’ first album, Down with the Sun, expectations immediately rise. The Norwegian four-piece don’t disappoint, calling forth a heavy psychedelia weighted enough to be immersive without really falling into the trap of sounding too post-Colour Haze or Causa Sui, finding a balance right away on opener “Six Hands” between open-vibe and structured songcraft. They toy with one side or the other, getting crunchy on “Rodents” and tripping out into ambient echoing on the penultimate “Silver Grey Sky,” but that only makes the debut seem all the more promising. Particularly satisfying is the scope between “Sun” and “Sleepy Desert Blues,” which is enough to make the listener think that grunge and desert rock happened in the same place. An engaging and already-on-the-right-track start from a band who sound like they’re only going to continue to grow.

Red Mountains on Thee Facebooks

Nasoni Records

Black Space Riders, Refugeeum

black space riders refugeeum

It’s improper to think of Germany’s Black Space Riders as entirely psychedelic if only because that somehow implies a lack of clearheaded consciousness in their work, which as their fourth album, Refugeeum, demonstrates, is the very core tying all the expanses they cover together. As Europe comes to grip with its most dire refugee crisis since World War II, Black Space Riders take their thematic movement from such terrestrial issues (a first for them) and it makes a song like 11-minute centerpiece “Run to the Plains” all the more resonant. Of course, the big-chug groove of “Born a Lion (Homeless)” and the cosmic thrust of the penultimate “Walking Shades” still have a psychedelic resonance, but the balance between the earthly and the otherworldly do well to highlight the progressivism that’s been at work in the band’s sound all along. A considerable undertaking at 61 minutes, Refugeeum is an important step in an ongoing development that has just made another unexpected and welcome turn.

Black Space Riders on Thee Facebooks

Black Space Riders website

Lamprey, III

lamprey iii

And so, with their third and final outing, III, Portland, Oregon, trio Lamprey reserve their strongest point for their closing argument. The two-bass trio of bassist/vocalist Blaine Burnham (now drumming in Mane of the Cur), bassist Justin Brown (now bass-ing in Witch Mountain) and drummer Spencer Norman recorded the conclusive six-tracker with Adam Pike at Toadhouse (Red Fang, Mammoth Salmon, etc.) and even the slower shifts of “Harpies” and the decidedly Conan-esque “Lament of the Deathworm” breeze right by. Like their two prior releases, 2012’S The Burden of Beasts (review here) and 2011’s Ancient Secrets (review here), III is a showcase of songcraft as much as tone, and it seems to presage its own vinyl reissue, each of the two halves starting with a shorter piece, the opener “Iron Awake” a notably vicious stomp that sets a destructive vibe that the rumble and weirdo keys and leads that finish out “Gaea” seem to be answering, a quick fade bringing an end to an underrated act. They’ll be missed.

Lamprey on Thee Facebooks

Lamprey on Bandcamp

Godsleep, Thousand Sons of Sleep

godsleep thousand sons of sleep

If newcomer bruisers Godsleep seem to share some commonality of method with fellow Athenians 1000mods, it’s worth noting that on their debut, Thousand Sons of Sleep, they also share a recording engineer in George Leodis. Fair enough. The big-toned riffing and shouty burl on which Godsleep cast their foundation makes its identity felt in the post-Kyussism of “Thirteen” and stonerly grit of centerpiece “This is Mine,” which follows the extended opening salvo of “The Call,” “Thirteen” and “Wrong Turn,” the latter of which is the longest cut at 9:09 and among its most satisfyingly fuzzed nods. They’re playing to style perhaps, but doing so well, and if you’ve gotta start somewhere, recording live and coming out with a heavy-as-hell groove like what emerges in the second half of “Home” is a good place to start. Godsleep are already a year past from when they recorded Thousand Sons of Sleep in Summer 2014, so I wouldn’t be surprised if a follow-up happened sooner than later.

Godsleep on Thee Facebooks

Rock Freaks Records

Slow Joe Crow & the Berserker Blues Band, We are Blues People

slow joe crow and the berserker blues band we are blues people

Kentucky-based, cumbersomely-named Slow Joe Crow and the Berserker Blues Band may indeed live up to the We are Blues People title of their debut EP, but they’re definitely riff people as well. As such, the four-track sampling of their wares draws from both sides on a cut like opener “No One Else,” the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Austin P. Lunn, bassist Patrick Flanary and drummer Thom Hammerheart in the process of figuring out how much they want to lean to one or the other. They round out with a fuzzy take on the traditional “John the Revelator,” but the earlier “Muddy Water Rising” strikes a more effective and more authentic-feeling balance, leading to the slow jam of “Before I Go,” which adds a ‘70s rock vibe to push the bluesy feel even further and expand the palette in a manner one hopes they continue to pursue as they move forward.

Slow Joe Crow and the Berserker Blues Band on Thee Facebooks

Slow Joe Crow and the Berserker Blues Band on Bandcamp

Monobrow, A Handwritten Letter from the Moon

monobrow a handwritten letter from the moon

Canadian trio Monobrow follow their 2014 LP, Big Sky, Black Horse (review here) with what’s essentially a new single that finds them continuing to step forward in their approach. Dubbed A Handwritten Letter from the Moon and taking its name from the 8:33 title-track, the Ottawa group’s latest offering finds the instrumental outfit smoothing out the tones a bit, still hitting into raucous grooves, but closer to Truckfighters than their prior brashness. I don’t know if it’s a method they’ll stick to going into their fourth LP next year, but the result is dynamic and suits them well. “A Handwritten Letter from the Moon” comes coupled with “Dyatlov Station 3,” a seven-minute rehearsal-space jam from 2011 that fascinatingly (and I’m sure by no coincidence) showcases some similar classic heavy rock influence. The only real shame of the release is that both these tracks are probably too long to fit on a 7”, since a small platter of vinyl would be a perfect way to hold over listeners until the next album arrives. As it stands, the digital version is hardly roughing it.

Monobrow on Thee Facebooks

Monobrow on Bandcamp

Denizen, Troubled Waters

denizen troubled waters

French heavy rocking four-piece Denizen issued their decidedly Clutchian debut, Whispering Wild Stories (review here), in 2011, and follow it through Argonauta Records with Troubled Waters, a more individualized 10-track outing that alternates between punkish rawness and classic upbeat grooves. Four years after their first album, their progression hasn’t come at the cost of songwriting, and while they still have work to do in distinguishing themselves in a crowded, varied European market, they deliver the material with an energy and vitality that makes even its familiar parts easy enough to get down with, be it the Southern heavy solo of “Jocelyne” or the meaner bite of “Enter Truckman.” I’ll take the pair of “King of Horses” and “Heavy Rider” as highlights, and remain interested to find out where Denizen head from here, as well as how long it might take them to get there. Four years between records gives Troubled Waters the feel of a second debut as much as a sophomore effort.

Denizen on Thee Facebooks

Argonauta Records

Witchsorrow, No Light, Only Fire

witchsorrow no light only fire

Releasing through Candlelight in their native UK, doom metal trio Witchsorrow mark a decade with their third album, No Light, Only Fire. Opener “There is No Light There is Only Fire” seems to nod immediately at Cathedral, with a speedier, chuggier take, and the record proceeds to alternate between shorter and longer tracks en route to the 14-minute closer “De Mysteriis Doom Sabbathas,” cuts like “Negative Utopia” and “Disaster Reality” sailing a black ship past the 10-minute mark on a rumbling sea of riffs and slow motion nod. They break for a minute with the acoustic interlude “Four Candles” before embarking on the finale, and the respite is appreciated once the agonizing undulations of “De Mysteriis Doom Sabbathas” are underway, using nearly every second of their 14:25 to affirm Witchsorrow’s trad doom mastery and bleak, darkened heft. No light? Maybe a little light, but it’s still pretty damn dark, and indeed, it smells like smoke.

Witchsorrow on Thee Facebooks

Candlelight Records

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Swallow the Sun Reveal Album Details for Songs from the North I, II and III

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 18th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

swallow the sun (photo by Jussi Ratilainen Photography)

Finnish death-doomers Swallow the Sun have posted more details concerning their previously-announced triple album, Songs from the North I, II & III. The rather massive undertaking will be released Nov. 13 via Century Media as the follow-up to the band’s 2012 fifth LP, Emerald Forest and the Blackbird (track stream here), and along with the artwork and tracklistings for each of the three parts, the intent of each individual chapter has been made public. The first will be sort of the standard Swallow the Sun blend of extreme doom and melodic melancholy, the second acoustic and the third heavier, so that the band presents a different personality on each outings that then feed off each other to form the whole.

I’m interested to hear how it all turns out, but it looks like we have a while to go yet before we get there. Here’s the total four album covers and the latest details off the PR wire:

SWALLOW THE SUN reveal details for new triple album ‘Songs from the North I, II & III’

Melancholy death-doom masters SWALLOW THE SUN bring us a bold, adventurous and characteristically dark triple full-length album entitled Songs from the North I, II & III, which will be released on November 13, 2015 via Century Media Records!

Incorporating dark menace and gradations of death, black and funeral doom, each of the three albums of Songs from the North I, II & III embodies the band’s unofficial band motto, “Gloom, Beauty & Despair”:

Songs from the North I continues in the vein of the albums before it – first-rate death-doom in the typical style of SWALLOW THE SUN.

1. With You Cam e the Whole of the World’s Tears
2. 10 Silver Bullets
3. Rooms and Shadows
4. Heartstrings Shattering
5. Silhouettes
6. The Memory of Light
7. Lost & Catatonic
8. From Happiness to Dust
Total playing time: 59:20

Songs from the North II is a beautiful, acoustic foray representing the group’s ability to unplug and revel in the darkness.

1. The Womb of Winter
2. The Heart of a Cold White Land
3. Away
4. Pray for the Winds to Come
5. Songs from the North
6. 66°50´N,28°40´E
7. Autumn Fire
8. Before the Summer Dies
Total playing time: 42:33

Songs from the North III is the most extreme album, a complete ride into SWALLOW THE SUN’s most horrific abyss of finely-crafted, conscience-crushing funeral doom.

1. The Gathering of Black Moths
2. 7 Hours Late
3. Empires of Loneliness
4. Abandoned by the Light
5. The Clouds Prepare for Battle
Total playing time: 51:57

Songs from the North I, II & III will be available as Special Edition 3CD Box containing 3 Digipaks and a booklet, Ltd. Deluxe Edition 5LP+3CD Box with each album in a gatefold sleeve & as digital album.

Main songwriter and guitarist Juha Raivio comments on the triple album concept: “Making a triple album in this godforsaken digital and modern day and age…Many will say it’s madness. I say it is to bring worth, heart and respect back into the music and to the album format where it belongs. This should never turn into a shallow fast food industry where music is only downloaded one song at a time. These albums hold life, death, gloom, beauty and despair in their deepest levels and forms. The three chapters are different but connected, one long journey through these songs written up here in the North. Music is holy, albums are holy. See you on the other side friends.”

Stay tuned for more news about Songs from the North I, II & III coming soon!

Juha Raivio – guitar
Markus Jämsen – guitar
Mikko Kotamäki – vocals
Matti Honkonen -bass
Aleksi Munter – keys
Juuso Raatikainen – drums


Swallow the Sun, “Psychopath’s Lair” Live at 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise 2014

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Hooded Menace Set Oct. 30 Release for Darkness Drips Forth

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 27th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

hooded menace

It was announced earlier this year that Finnish death-doom malevolents Hooded Menace were recording their next album at Skyhammer Studio, and it seems that the rotten fruit of that effort will be released on Oct. 30. Out as close as possible to Halloween on Relapse Records, the offering is called Darkness Drips Forth, and it’s available to preorder now with a video trailer revealed. I doubt they’ll be long into the thing before it lives up to its name, but of course we’ll have to wait until we get there to find out for sure.

The PR wire gets drippy:

hooded menace darkness drips forth

HOODED MENACE: Finnish Masters of Deathly Horror Announce Imminent Release of ‘Darkness Drips Forth’ via Relapse Records

Finland’s HOODED MENACE have returned with Darkness Drips Forth, their fourth full-length and most gruesome work to date. Recorded and mixed by Chris Fielding (Electric Wizard, Primordial) and the band´s usual sound engineer Mikko Saastamoinen, and graced by decrepit artwork from Justin Bartlett, the band employ a new approach on their latest effort, expanding their writing across four cataclysmically dense tracks, nearly all of which exceed ten minutes apiece. Cavernous vocals preside over mastermind Lasse Pyykko’s rumbling riffs, while the rest of the band’s unshakable rhythmic core provides a grim backbone for the record.

The hint of melody HOODED MENACE sought back in their earliest days has fully blossomed into an essential element of the band’s music; Darkness Drips Forth is as melodic as it is devastating and as emotionally disquieting as it is thematically stirring. Funereal, deliberate, and methodical, Darkness Drips Forth is sure to be an essential acquisition for fans of Winter’s crushing doom, the old-school death metal of Bolt Thrower and Asphyx, and the cruel, apocalyptic atmospheres of Dead Congregation and Coffins alike. Just in time for Halloween, Hooded Menace delivers a gruesome treat to chill your bones and crack open your coffin.

The record is slated for an October 30, 2015 release via Relapse Records, and will be available on digital, CD, and vinyl formats. Preorder the album on CD or special edition vinyl here, or preorder the digital version from Bandcamp here.

1. Blood For The Burning Oath / Dungeons of The Disembodied
2. Elysium of Dripping Death
3. Ashen With Solemn Decay
4. Beyond Deserted Flesh


Hooded Menace, Darkness Drips Forth album teaser

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Hexvessel Sign to Century Media; Tiamat Cover Posted

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 25th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

I have to admit, folks, I’m kind of scratching my head on this one. Don’t get me wrong, Hexvessel are a very cool band. I’ve dug the stuff they put out on Svart and I went out of my way to catch them when the opportunity presented itself a couple years back at Roadburn. But they’re not exactly what I’d consider a commercial property, and if you look at the bulk of the roster for Century Media, that does seem to be where the heart of their interest lies these days. Finnish psychedelic folk rock? Will that sell? Is Kerrang gonna cover that?

Also, is Kerrang still in print?

Hexvessel mark the second time in 2015 that Century Media have gotten their hands dirty to pluck a band up from the underground. You might recall they picked up skate rockers The Shrine a bit ago. Could be the label’s had a change of approach, or could be a freak thing. I guess we’ll find out over the next few months if the trend continues.

For now, here’s the Hexvessel announcement off the PR wire:

hexvessel (Photo by Maija Lahtinen)

HEXVESSEL announce signing with Century Media Records and release Tiamat “Gaia” cover version

HEXVESSEL and Century Media Records are proud to announce a worldwide deal for the upcoming releases of the Finnish psychedelic folk rock band.

Vocalist and guitarist Mat McNerney (also singer in Grave Pleasures) comments:
“In many ways the new Hexvessel songs are a new beginning for the band. The time we have invested in this next album has been very carefully spent. So we have become very focused in what we want to do and want to deliver something really special for our fans when it comes to releasing the next record. It’s very important music for us, close to the bone and nestled right up next to our hearts. We were looking for a relationship with our record label to be the same as our bond with each other in the band. It has to be real and it has to be a shared experience! The way we met Jens and the wonderful people at Century Media was at a very special time for us and them, and we felt a unique connection that has grown ever since. That they totally understand and truly feel for what we’re doing is really important. After all this is magic art we are creating and is from a personal place. We believe that with Century Media we will have the support and encouragement to take our music further than ever before. Deepest thanks to all our fans and friends without whom we are nothing, our publisher and friend Andy Farrow at AMF for his good faith, the guys at Svart Records for bringing us up and holding our hands from our inception, and hails to the good folks at Century Media for believing in Hexvessel and heralding a new dawn for us. It’ll be a bright a blessed future. Shine on!”

Jens Prueter, Head of A&R Century Media Records Europe: “I was already a fan of the previous Hexvessel albums but I got truly addicted to the band after seeing them live in early 2014 supporting Alcest. It was an ill-fated day as we had just received the bad news about the passing of Oliver Withöft, co-owner of Century Media. We found solace in music and that’s probably the greatest thing music can achieve – to quote the US free-jazz legend Albert Ayler: “Music is the healing force of the universe”. Afterwards, I met Mat a couple of times and we discovered being kindred spirits in our taste of music. There are not too many people I know who like Ultimate Spinach as much as Albert Ayler and Tiamat. Hexvessel’s cover version of “Gaia” was originally intended to be released on a 20th anniversary edition of Tiamat’s “Wildhoney” but unfortunately the project never came into being. Since “Wildhoney” is still one of the most successful Century Media releases, it’s a perfect opportunity to release the cover now and celebrate a new chapter in Hexvessel’s career that hopefully will be as successful. It certainly will include some amazing music.”

Hexvessel Live:
11.27.2015 Leafmeal Festival, Dortmund, Germany (w/ Crippled Black Phoenix, Long Distance Calling, Dead Lord, ’77 and more)

Hexvessel Line-up:
Mat McNerney – Vocals & guitar
Jukka Rämänen – Drums
Simo Kuosmanen – Lead guitar
Niini Rossi – Bass guitar
Kimmo Helén – Keys, trumpet & violin.
Marja Konttinen – backing vocals & additional percussion

Hexvessel Discography:
“Iron Marsh” EP 2013
“Vainolainen” 7″ 2012
“No Holier Temple” CD/LP 2012
“Dawnbearer” CD/LP 2011


Hexvessel, “Gaia” official video

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Swallow the Sun to Release Triple-Album Songs from the North I, II & III

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 21st, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

I’ve posted about Finnish death-doomers Swallow the Sun a few times over the years, and apart from a track stream I did for their last record, 2012’s Emerald Forest and Black Bird (posted here), the response is usually pretty quiet. Well, I’m gonna keep posting about them because I think they’re a cool fucking band and they’re prone to doing wacky stuff like putting out a triple-album, which they’ll do in Nov. in the form of Songs from the North I, II and III. Kudos to Century Media for what I can only assume was a toss-the-hands-up-and-say-what-the-hell decision to get behind such a massive undertaking, and to the band itself, because if you’re gonna go low and slow, you might as well also go completely overwhelming.

The PR wire has release details:

swallow the sun

SWALLOW THE SUN finishes massive recording session; new triple album to be released in November

Melancholy death-doom metal masters SWALLOW THE SUN have completed their massive recording session! The Finnish sextet’s last album, Emerald Forest And The Blackbird, was released in winter 2012; come November 2015, the long wait between recordings will finally be over.

The new SWALLOW THE SUN release will be a triple album entitled Songs From The North I, II & III.

Main songwriter and guitarist Juha Raivio comments on the triple album concept: “Making a triple album in this godforsaken digital and modern day and age…Many will say it’s madness. I say it is to bring worth, heart and respect back into the music and to the album format where it belongs. This should never turn into a shallow fast food industry where music is only downloaded one song at a time.

These albums hold life, death, gloom, beauty and despair in their deepest levels and forms. The three chapters are different but connected, one long journey through these songs written up here in the North.

Music is holy, albums are holy. See you on the other side friends.”

Stay tuned for more news about Songs From The North I, II & III coming soon!

Juha Raivio – guitar
Markus Jämsen – guitar
Mikko Kotamäki – vocals
Matti Honkonen -bass
Aleksi Munter – keys
Juuso Raatikainen – drums


Swallow the Sun, Emerald Forest and the Blackbird (2012)

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Deep Space Destructors Release Spring Break from Space Vinyl

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 7th, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster

deep space destructors

If you listen to the tracks on the Bandcamp stream below and find yourself wondering why Oulu, Finland-based trio Deep Space Destructors might have gone with Spring Break from Space (review here) as the title of their latest two-track EP, I agree, it’s a little misleading. After all, if you listen to those songs, it becomes clear rather quickly that the three-piece are not at all on a break from space and that, rather, they’re way deep in it. “Spring Break from Space” was the name of the tour they went on this past Spring, so the idea is they’re normally in space, but they took a break to come to earth and do some shows. Make sense?

Now that I’ve done my good deed for the day in explaining that, I’ll turn it over to the announcement that Spring Break from Space is available now on vinyl through Sapphire Records and Space Rock Productions, pressed up in limited numbers. Behold:

deep space destructors spring break from space lp

Deep Space Destructors “Spring Break From Space”

The first vinyl release of the finnish Space Rock Trios …

Deep Space Destructors are a space rock trio fro Oulu, Finland. The band has previously released two excellent albums on CD.

This music was originally released as limited edition of 30 cassettes by Deep Space Destructors for Spring Break From Space Tour 2015.

With the release DSD dives towards innerspace, shamanistic rhythms and to the mystic realms of consciousness. What is the space mountain and will you discover it? Spring Break

From Space includes two songs recorded live at DSD’s Rehearsal Vortex, with vocals, percussions and analog synths added afterwards. — Space Rock Productions / Scott Heller

Limited Edition 270 copies total: 110x black – 160x yellow/red
This is the black 10″-vinyl edition – hand numbered

Side Space:
Journey To The Space Mountain (7:52)
Side Void:
Where Space Ends Time Begins (11:10)


Jani Pitkänen – vocals, bass
Petri Lassila – guitar, backing vocals
Markus Pitkänen – drums

Spring Break From Space EP now available as 10″ vinyl through Space Rock Productions and Sapphire Records!

Limited 100 copies on black vinyl:

Limited 150 copies on transparent yellow with red marble:


Deep Space Destructors, Spring Break from Space (2015)

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Kaleidobolt Premiere “Mountain Man” from Self-Titled Debut; Out Aug. 14 on Pink Tank

Posted in audiObelisk on July 22nd, 2015 by H.P. Taskmaster


Because their transitions are so fluid, it’s almost easy to miss the parts on the self-titled Pink Tank Records debut (out Aug. 14) from Helsinki trio Kaleidobolt where the band shifts from weighted stoner nod into a kind of classic shuffling prog-jazz fusion, SampoMarco and Valtteri careening as they make their way through album opener “Rocket to the Moon,” which, if we’re to judge by the noisy finish they give the song, does not result in an according-to-plan landing. For an outfit who got their start in 2014, Kaleidobolt‘s first offering bypasses the “getting our feet wet” vibe of many acts’ early work and while three albums from now they might go on to make it sound primitive, as it stands, songs like the aforementioned opener, the subsequent “Momentum” and “Liskodisko” impress not only with how smoothly their make turns between them, but within them as well, the three-piece showcasing jammers’ chemistry and a progressive sense of drive as “Momentum” moves from its initial insistent rhythm to a more open, airy section of guitar that lets the bass and drums hold the tension. Not a new method, but presented freshly and devoid of pretense in a manner that makes Kaleidobolt an even more engaging listen.

kaleidobolt kaleidoboltThe fluidity becomes the defining theme, musically. “Into the Crevice” starts off at a quiet run and winds its way around echoing vocal lines and trades back and forth with more full-on fuzz until an unexpected slowdown in the second half brings a doomier vibe that, gracefully, gets quick again toward the finish. This eases the transition to “Liskodisko,” which opens side B with call-and-response noodling between the lead guitar and drums, verses emerging and receding behind instrumental passages that, to call them a jam would be to rob them of their complexity. Kaleidobolt obviously thrive on catching listeners off guard, which is something a band can usually do once on a record, maybe twice, but the chops they showcase between them as “Liskodisko” moves toward its prog-grunge head hold much potential for further songwriting adventurousness. A band who can play the way these guys play sound like they’re going to be conscious of not getting bored or bogged down in a songwriting routine. Their debut certainly doesn’t, as the quiet, fading closing passage of “Liskodisko” gives way to the headswimming low-end fuzz of “Mountain Man.”

It’s the shortest track on Kaleidobolt‘s Kaleidobolt at 4:54, and perhaps also the most straightforward — or at least as close as they get. A riffy nod is met by fervent shouting as Kaleidobolt leave the proggy aspirations to the side for the time being and instead concentrate on tension and tonal push, the track making its way toward a fast but still weighted finish that hints at some underlying punker mischief and blinds with its leadwork and bizarro swirl in the meantime, the three-piece emerging at the end unscathed to shift into 9:52 closer, which has as many psychedelic underpinnings as it does those of heavy blues boogie rock, and in refusing to commit to either, it winds up distinguished from both while also hearkening back to the earlier progressive edge in its central bassline. As they have at several points, Kaleidobolt round out the instrumental finale with a touch of speedy chaos, but by the time you get there listening, it’s apparent just how in-control of their approach these cats are. Their debut might take a couple passes to sink in, but it’s a deceptively rich stylistic base from which Kaleidobolt operate, and they only seem interested in becoming more forward-thinking. Consider notice served.

Today I have the pleasure of hosting “Mountain Man” for streaming ahead of the Aug. 14 Pink Tank Records release. Please find it on the player below, followed by more about the band, album and accompanying tour, and enjoy:

Kaleidobolt is a power trio that came together in early 2014 in Helsinki. In the short time they’ve been together, they’ve gained the reputation of being one of the most exciting live bands in Finland. Their music is a dizzying maelstrom of progressive song structures, crushing riffs and loose psychedelic soundscapes, delivered with joy and ferociousness. Their first album was recorded in 2014 with an effort on delivering a production as truthful as possible to the live experience and it’s scheduled for release in summer 2015 by Pink Tank Records.

kaleidobolt tour dates

– 300 copies total
– 100 copies opaque purple incl. poster and download code (exclusive Pink Tank edition)
– 100 copies black incl. poster and download code (exclusive band edition)
– 100 copies white standard edition (wholesale)
– all on high quality vinyl made in Germany

– CD comes in a jewel case
– first 50 go out with an extra Kaleidobolt sticker

2. MOMENTUM 07:34
6. SHOWDOWN 09:51

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