Mansion to Release The Mansion Congregation Hymns Vol. 1 7″ Next Month

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 25th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Persistently nebulous Finnish cultists Mansion — aka I am the Mansion, aka The Mansion Congregation — have announced a new 7″ single due next month through Streaks Records, the imprint which also released their 2013 debut EP, We Shall Live (review here), on vinyl in January. The new two-song release will be out in time for Mansion to appear at Roadburn in Tilburg, the Netherlands, and an audio preview is available now that shows the tracks to be more in a heavy rock vein than was the EP, though a theme of condemnation remains consistent.

Just 100 copies of the single will be pressed. The PR wire offers temptation:

Out Soon: STREAK#22: The Mansion Congregation Hymns Vol. 1 7″ EP

This will be officially out at 4/4/14 !

When I heard the new tunes represented by Jaakob I truly understand what Mikael means with his foreword. It was still a harsh surprise though how filthy and unclean was the result. Still: With believe in the congregations braveness I sort it as a misstep that can be equaled out with their following album that hopefully will mark a return to the true doctrine. While possessed, the congregation created sinful melodies that make oneself feeling dirty while tasting the poisoned apple. It’s addictive, be forewarned!
Streaks Records

Mikael says:

Dear child,

The Mansion Congregation Hymns Vol. 1. should be perceived as a warning. This release goes to show that even the most enlightened may be seduced by evil. When Mother Alma with congregation members differing from the familiar Mansion line- up set out to create spiritual hymns glorifying the devotion to our cause, something unexpected happened. The group experienced demonic seduction, which resulted in despicable behaviour manifested in the recording session. Details shall remain confidential.

Two tracks were recorded to accompany my lyrics with music contradictory in nature to the texts. My initial reaction to the hymns was distress. The thought of our Mother as a puppet on the string for the dark one still brings chills to my spine.

These devilish hymns are lustful and flirtatious. The congregation exposes the hymns to the public in shame, but with a solemn hope that it will serve as documentation of forces moving in the shadows ready to lead us astray.

The listener may experience tempting sensations when exposed to the hymns. Use this recording as a reminder that spiritual adversity may lead to detestable acts. Never take heed of temptation. Know the enemy. Stay strong in your faith.

Mikael, main lyricist of Mansion

The Mansion Congregation Hymns Vol. 1.

Performed by:
Mother Alma – vocals and organ
Aleksanteri- vocals and guitar
Jaakob- guitar
Roni- bass
Veikko Tapio- drums and guitar
Joona – mellotron

A. Wild Child
B. New Dawn

Recorded, mixed and mastered:
Joona Lukala in Jan 2014
Released by Streaks Records on 4.4.14

Postage one copy:
Germany 2,50 Euro,
Europe 4 Euro,
World 4 Euro

Mansion, The Mansion Congregation Hymns Vol. 1 (2014)

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Mr. Peter Hayden and Dark Buddha Rising Join Forces for European Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 4th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

There are two reasons I’m posting about the Mr. Peter Hayden and Dark Buddha Rising tour and they are as follows: Mr. Peter Hayden and Dark Buddha Rising.

I’ve been looking forward to the new Mr. Peter Hayden album, Archdimension Now, since streaming part of their in-betweener single “We Fly High” here back in January. The third in a trilogy of outings, the first two of which were cosmically-minded, exploratory and, when they wanted to be, demolition-grade heavy, I don’t doubt that it will hit under the radar for some, but those who catch it will be glad they did. If this post entices someone to check out that single or 2012′s Born a Trip (review here), all the better.

And though Dark Buddha Rising‘s Dakhmandal got lost last year amid the mess of digital promos, I was at Roadburn 2012 when they played (review here) and so the prospect of that set coming out on tape is enticing indeed. They were among the bleakest acts I’ve ever seen at that festival, and their droning doom remains deeply individual, very much their own.

So you see, the two bands touring together, even nowhere I’ll be able to see them, is an event worth marking. The PR wire puts it thusly:

Dark Buddha Rising and Mr. Peter Hayden collaborative European tour dates for April 2014 announced

Finnish heavy-weight deep space psychedelic travellers Dark Buddha Rising and Mr. Peter Hayden will be touring Europe in April 2014. Trips will be served on eight nights, starting on April 19th in Bülach, Switzerland and ending seven nights later in Stockholm, Sweden. Prepare your minds!

Dark Buddha Rising have released four albums of their signature monolithic dark psychedelic art and gained full acceptance throughout Europe. Last year they opened for Neurosis and are now back to challenge your senses. Mr. Peter Hayden are known from their lengthy compositions and in-depth instrumental approach on sonic psychedelia. Now they are putting out a two-hour piece of music in form of a double album and returning to Europe to continue where they left off at last years Roadburn Festival.

Prior to the tour Mr. Peter Hayden will release a double album entitled Archdimension Now. This will complete the album trilogy they have been working on since 2009. Album will be released through Kauriala Society on April 11th.

Also Dark Buddha Rising have a new release coming up. Live at Roadburn 2012 will be released through Future Lunch on cassette only on April 4th. Finnish masters of dark psychedelia proceed onward after their last years epic release of three 12” EP’s entitled Dakhmandal. Now their debut live recording is being released from their much celebrated performance at Roadburn Festival 2012 in Tilburg, Holland via Future Lunch. Known from their black psychedelic art and performances, the group has gained major acceptance beyond borders. They are now serving you a unique glimpse of their previous guidelines as presented in this 2012 one-of-a-kind event. An event in which minds were trembled and all mountains shook up.

Set your pre-orders here!:

Dark Buddha Rising & Mr. Peter Hayden : “Archmandal” – European tour, 19. – 26.4.2014
19.4. Guss39, Bülach, Switzerland
20.4. Doomed Gatherings, Glazart, Paris, France
21.4. Little Devil, Tilburg, Netherlands
22.4. Hühnermanhattan, Halle, Germany
23.4. Crass Pub, Chemnitz, Germany
24.4. Werk4, Magdeburg, Germany
25.4. Stengade, Copenhagen, Denmark
26.4. Püssy a Go Go, The Liffey, Stockholm, Sweden

Mr. Peter Hayden, Born a Trip (2012)

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Kimi Kärki of Lord Vicar

Posted in Questionnaire on March 3rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

As Peter Vicar in Reverend Bizarre, guitarist Kimi Kärki helped to start a wave of traditional doom in Europe during the mid-’90s that continues to this day. That Finnish outfit’s influence has endured even after their split in 2007 following the release of their last album, III: So Long Suckers – a variety of splits and comps continued to surface for a couple years after — and Kärki‘s career has continued to branch out, working with former Saint Vitus and now Goatess frontman Chritus Linderson in the righteously doomed Lord Vicar as well as putting out new material from the Reverend Bizarre-concurrent project Orne, founding and exploring psychedelic experimentation in E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr, playing with Uhrijuhla and working as a coordinator at the University of Turku. Late last year, Svart Records released his solo debut, The Bone of My Bones (streamed here), on which Kärki showcased progressive folk songwriting to create evocative and deeply resonant atmospheres.

Last month, Svart issued a 4LP edition of III: So Long Suckers with expanded liner notes in memory of Reverend Bizarre‘s legacy, and E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr are slated to appear at Roadburn next month.

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Kimi Kärki

How did you come to do what you do?

Because it felt right. I followed my intuition and walked on the footsteps of the giants.

Describe your first musical memory.

It is hearing my mother sing a classic lullaby “Sininen uni” (Blue dream), originally sung by legendary Finnish javelin athlete and singer Tapio Rautavaara, the text being a poem by P. Mustapää. I love that song and sing it to my own children now. Here:

Describe your best musical memory to date.

Hard to pick up the best… Perhaps hearing the master of In the Rectory of the Bizarre Reverend for the first time, or the first time I saw people in the audience singing my lyrics.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

Every day.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

To a better focus, deeper musical layers, profound lyrics and sometimes an early grave.

How do you define success?

That I feel pleased with what I have done, can love and be loved, and survive the tests of living.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

Images of parents carrying their dead children, that is the ultimate horror.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

A theme album which is musically solid and has a coherent, emotionally touching narrative.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

Finishing my Ph.D., finally.

Kimi Kärki, “I am Aries” from The Bone of My Bones (2013)

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Harvest Bell, Wheel of Foretaste EP: Building the Habit

Posted in Reviews on February 13th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

By the time the 16-plus minutes of Harvest Bell‘s Wheel of Foretaste EP are through, the most surprising thing about the three-track outing is that it’s not longer. The Finnish five-piece made their debut in 2010 with another EP, Wooden Stone, and Wheel of Foretaste finds them aligned to BloodRock Records and easily, smoothly blurring the lines between traditional doom metal and heavy rock. Alternately brooding and brash, “Salutation” (6:16), “Afterglow” (6:43) and “Too Hard a Habit” (3:32) seem to play as much to the solitary metal melancholies of classic doom as they do to beer-spilling, fist-pumping sing-alongs. Each of the three cuts offers a different take, and in that, Wheel of Foretaste does well to showcase Harvest Bell‘s songwriting and the stylistic breadth that comes through in the material. It does not repeat itself, but nor is it unhinged or too all over the place to the point of sound like the band is just haphazardly playing styles off each other. That’s not the case, and that becomes apparent from the time 4:28 into “Salutation”‘s total 6:16 when, following a well-timed grunt from vocalist Jussi Helle and guitarist Tuomas Heinonen, they kick into straight-ahead faster riffing to cap the remainder of the song. And it’s not just that they do it, but also how smoothly they make the transition, Helle, Heinonen, guitarist Petri Härmä, bassist Jarno Mäkinen and drummer Juho Alhola all switching gears in unison to bask in a righteous heavy rock thrust.

There might be some doom heads who prefer to remain in the steady plod of the song’s earlier going, but from where I sit, the sudden change is like a wake-up call for listeners that Harvest Bell aren’t content just to stick to one side or the other, and more importantly, that they can make a song work in playing to both. Keyboards from Aki Laaksonen in the first two-thirds and a blend in the solo section around the midpoint of acoustic and electric guitars — Heinonen and Härmä seem to trade leads as the song transitions back to the verse — insure that even if they were to doom out all the way through, they’d be doing so with character, but the more rocking side comes as something of a surprise the first time through (I can’t help but feel in writing this review I’m giving away spoilers by talking about it), Helle transitions no less smoothly to the faster pace than anyone else in the band, and Mäkinen‘s fills add an element of bluesy class that seem like a victory lap after the stylistic jump Harvest Bell just landed. Or maybe the victory lap arrives in “Afterglow,” which sets moody doom acoustics — again, much enriched by the keys — and a memorable chorus up to threaten heavier surge and then pull back before actually delivering the blow. Ultimately, it’s that restraint that winds up making “Afterglow” all the heavier when it hits, but the track is also more than just waiting for the distortion to kick in. Alhola delivers a clinic on drums, both holding a tension and punctuating the intricate guitar work in the early going while the bass and keys provide a steady foundation, and Helle‘s vocals have an almost New Wave inflection that add a goth flair before fuzzier guitars launch into full-on doom with just over a minute to go. If nothing else, Harvest Bell seem keen on a big finish.

Read more »

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Mansion’s We Shall Live to See Vinyl Release on Jan. 24

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 15th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

After selling completely through a run of limited CD-R copies of their We Shall Live debut EP (review here), Finnish conceptual cult rockers — that is, they’re not just a cult, but they’re a specific, historical cult; look it up, it’s fun — Mansion have announced that Streaks Records has picked up the four-songer for a vinyl edition that’s set to release on Jan. 24. Once again, the theorem is proved that religion is very, very creepy.

Mansion are set to play Roadburn this year as well, and are reportedly preparing their first long-player for release in time to mark the occasion. More on that as it comes, but before the vinyl sells out, here’s this:

Mansion / We Shall Live EP to be reissued on vinyl by Streaks Records.

(STREAK#21), release date 24.1.2014

The sold out, sought for and self- released debut of the Finnish cult rockers Mansion, i.e. the We Shall Live EP, is now resurrected in the form of a second pressing by Streaks Records. The second coming arrives with an insert of the lyrics to the song We Shall Live for chanting lessons to the new cult followers.

”After my copy of their limited private released debut vinyl showed signs of wear from playing it over and over again, I had to ask the band to rerelease their “We shall live” 12″ EP to make this outstanding piece of art available to a wider audience. Their historically realistic, somehow creepy yet morally righteous concept of Cult Rock that is based around the austere christian cult Kartanoism that existed in Finland between the twenties and fifties, hit me instantly and impressed me deeply. The music perfectly mirrors this atmosphere, presenting the songs like sermons that hem oneself in but beguile as well with its catchy melodies. The arrangements are elaborate and the voice of the frontwoman, named Alma after the original mother that founded the cult, creates a lot of dramatic tension. A totally focused and cohesive debut that crucially needed a vinyl repress.” -Matthias Wittwer / Streaks Records

Mansion: We Shall Live
Side A: Mother´s Burden / We Shall Live
Side B: Sorrowless / Slumber Sermon

Alma: Vocals, keyboards
Aleksanteri: Keyboards, vocals
Immanuel: Bass
Jaakob: Guitar
Mikael: Drums
Veikko-Tapio: Guitar

Mansion, We Shall Live (2013)

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audiObelisk: Mr Peter Hayden Stream “We Fly High” from New 7″ Single

Posted in audiObelisk on January 7th, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

Finnish cosmic doom five-piece Mr. Peter Hayden are nothing if they’re not ambitious. Their debut and sophomore outings, 2010′s Faster than Speed (review here) and 2012′s Born a Trip (review here), comprise the first two installments of a thematic trilogy. Somewhere along the lines of time, matter and… what? Moving beyond them? I’m not quite sure yet, but when their third album, Archdimension Now, arrives in April — a double CD, no less — we’ll have an answer.

Until then, Mr. Peter Hayden have put together a new 7″ titled We Fly High that continues the consuming space-lurch of Born a Trip‘s massive interstellar scope, but unlike that album, which ran a continuous 68 minutes of immersive linearity, there’s a necessary break in the song “We Fly High” to allow for the side A/B swap. The result is that both halves of “We Fly High” offer a convenient sample by which to get a taste of Mr. Peter Hayden‘s style.

And I’ve said it for a while now that these dudes are worth checking out, so if you haven’t, I’m fortunate enough to be able to host side B of “We Fly High” for streaming ahead of the official Jan. 15 release. It has its own flow and progression from the first part of “We Fly High,” so you won’t feel like you’re listening to half a song, and the wash of progressive psychedelia that rises amid the stomp here bodes well for transcendence to come on Archdimension Now.

Mr. Peter Hayden will tour Europe around the release of the new album this spring and have a couple shows lined up for February in Finland. That info and more about the new album follow the track below.

Dig it:

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

A-side streaming through Soundi magazine (Finland) here.

What is left when time and form have stepped aside? Shadows of final ideas, light and stream of eternal substance, the tension of final entity? Mr. Peter Hayden have gone through phases and planes of inevitable and come across their final chapter of trilogy. Diving another level deeper and superpositioning their minds the chapter will reach its end in form of a double album, to be released in April 2014.

Although the groups lineup and instrumentation has always been evolving, it has always consisted of very close and connected friends. At the moment the personnel and instruments of choice are: V. Ajomo on synthesizers, L. Kivelä on bass, JP. Koivisto on guitar, T. Santamaa on drums and V. Vatanen on guitar and effects.

During the years of their existence Mr. Peter Hayden has performed live at most of the Finnish clubs and festivals devoted for the psychedelic music. They have also toured Europe and been invited and played at Roadburn Festival. During spring 2014 they will tour in Scandinavia and come back to Central Europe.

Mr. Peter Hayden live:
15-02-14 Hyberporea, Lepakkomies, Helsinki
14-02-14 Bar15, Seinäjoki

Mr. Peter Hayden on Thee Facebooks

Mr. Peter Hayden on Bandcamp

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Mangoo Release The Road to Calabash Tour Documentary

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 3rd, 2014 by H.P. Taskmaster

In Oct. 2013, Finnish heavy psych rockers Mangoo set about on a tour that took them from England, to France, to Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium alongside UK-based heavy proggers Enos and Marseille riffers Rescue Rangers. Now, it’s not out of the ordinary that some manner of video footage from the tour would surface — a cellphone clip of some inside-joke shenanigans or of course the always-welcome staple of gig videos, sound quality in varying levels of blown out. Shaky-cam galore.

Mangoo play it a little differently. On New Year’s Day, the Turku five-piece released The Road to Calabash, a documentary that shares its name with the tour itself and which chronicles the three bands’ 12 days on the road together, directed by Mangoo guitarist/vocalist Pickles and filmed by him as well, along with drummer/vocalist Teemu. Not surprisingly, Mangoo‘s music features pretty heavily, but you can get away with that when it’s your documentary and you shot, edited and toured the whole thing.

I don’t know if following them across Europe for 12-days-distilled-to-70-minutes is the best way to get introduced if you haven’t already heard the band, but it’s a cool project anyway and worth checking out:

Mangoo, The Road to Calabash tour documentary

In late 2013 the band Mangoo toured the rock clubs of Europe, this is the documented story.

Directed by Pickles
Filmed by Pickles and Teemu
Edited by Pickles
Produced by Pickles
Visual Effects Supervisor Pickles

Mangoo are:
Vocals, Guitar Pickles
Bass, Vocals Igor
Drums, Vocals Teemu
Lead Guitar Mattarn
Synths, Vocals Nicke

Enos are:
Vocals and Guitar Chris
Guitar Sean
Bass Bungle
Drums Sparky

Rescue Rangers are:
Vocals and Guitar Pascal
Drums Pierr
Bass Christophe

Mangoo and Isaak appears courtesy of Small Stone Recordings
Enos appears courtesy of Stargun music
Rescue Rangers appears courtesy of Trendkill Recordings

Mangoo Website

Mangoo on Thee Facebooks

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Harvest Bell Sign to Bloodrock Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 27th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Few phrases in the heavy underground offer as immediate an association as “Finnish trad doom,” and while if you weren’t thinking about Reverend Bizarre before, you probably are now, Turku five-piece Harvest Bell are on something of a different wavelength, avoiding some of the Sabbath worship in favor of more classically progressive fare. It’s a fine line, maybe, but the distinction works out to be somewhat less minute with the actual audio itself, as Harvest Bell showcase in “Salutation” below. Word has just come down the PR wire that the band will release their next outing, an EP called Wheel of Foretaste, through Italy’s Bloodrock Records.

Bloodrock Records – of course named for the heavy ’70s rock band from Texas — is somehow affiliated with Black Widow Records, but I don’t know exactly what the nature of that relationship is. Both seem to put out some cool stuff. While I dig into that matter and see what I can find out, dig the announcement of the signing and Wheel of Foretaste release below, which the band sent over:

HARVEST BELL has made a record deal with Italian BLOODROCK RECORDS

Finnish doom rock group Harvest Bell has made a record deal with Italian BloodRock Records. As a result the band will be releasing an EP called Wheel of Foretaste in both vinyl and CD formats.

Founded in 2006, Harvest Bell combines heavily rolling riffs with atmospheric melodies strewed with a touch of psychedelia. Harvest Bell has previously released Wooden Stone EP. The band’s lineup is Jussi Helle (vocals), Petri Härmä (guitar), Tuomas Heinonen (guitar), Jarno Mäkinen (bass) and Juho Alhola (drums).

Harvest Bell, “Salutation”

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audiObelisk: Stream Kimi Kärki’s The Bone of My Bones in Full

Posted in audiObelisk on December 17th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

The Bone of My Bones is the first solo album from Lord Vicar guitarist Kimi Kärki — whose impressive resume also includes current tenure in Uhrijuhla, E-Musikgruppe Lux Ohr, Orne and a past playing under the moniker Peter Vicar in Finnish trad doom forebears Reverend Bizarre — and it is out now on Svart Records in gatefold LP and CD. It is an album that lives up to its title. Acoustic, minimal in its arrangements despite flourish of organ alongside Kärki‘s guitar and a host of guest vocalists, it proves indeed to be a deeply personal, deeply internal offering, comprising seven songs and 36 minutes of contemplative searching, a process that seems to be discovering the musical atmosphere even as it constructs it. That’s not to say songs like “My Name is Free,” “Red Rooster” and “Archipelago” are lacking in structure or progression, just that it becomes clear over the course of The Bone of My Bones that Kärki is building his sound from the ground up, and this is the beginning of that process.

“Young Goodman Brown” touches some on the melody of Led Zeppelin‘s “No Quarter,” and there are other flourishes of ’70s era progressive and psychedelic folk to be found throughout, but the richness of The Bone of My Bones comes from the humanity of the effort more than any particular lushness of sound, though a bit of swirl emerges on the nine-minute closer “Taxiarch” with wisps of electric leads curling around a steady acoustic line. As a vocalist, Kärki seems most comfortable in a semi-spoken lower register, but he pushes himself to expand beyond it right from the start in opener  “I am Aries,” and the additional contributions of Mat McNerney (of Svart labelmates Hexvessel), Anna-Elena Pääkkölä and Pirita Känkänen enrich the song’s ambience, bringing it somewhat out of Kärki‘s own experience and into a place where the listener can engage with it on another level. The launch of the album is just one of the high points, as Kärki elicits a melancholy sense of meditation without getting lost in neo-folk pretense or giving up songwriting for the experiment. True to its Edward Coley Burne-Jones cover art, The Tree of Forgiveness (1882), it has a classical feel.

And though the prevailing sense is that Kärki is laying the groundwork with The Bone of My Bones to, say, return to the form later and flesh it out, having that impression does nothing to diminish the appeal of his solo debut. Please find The Bone of My Bones on the player below and enjoy:

Kimi Kärki, The Bone of My Bones

Kimi Kärki‘s The Bone of My Bones was released Dec. 5 through Svart on CD and LP. More info at the links.

Kimi Kärki at Svart Records

Kimi Kärki on Thee Facebooks

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Renate/Cordate Show off New Material in Rehearsal Video; Sophomore Album Coming in 2014

Posted in Bootleg Theater on December 12th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Finnish instrumentalists Renate/Cordate have sent along an update on the progress of the follow-up to earlier-2013′s self-titled debut (review here). They’re set to record the bulk of the album at the end of the month and will be working with members of Domovoyd on adding noise and ambience thereafter. Hard to say what the final result will be, but the group has posted a practice video for the song “Humankind (Not My Kind)” that was recorded live in their rehearsal space, so at least there’s some way to get a feel for the texture of the new material, incomplete though it may be. Ranging from heavy psych to post-metal atmospherics, Renate/Cordate was hardly light on mood, and it seems like the band have kept that ethic going into their sophomore effort.

The biggest change you’ll notice immediately is the inclusion of vocals. Drenched in echo and somewhat sparse, they’re still more than showed up last time out, so I guess Renate/Cordate are continuing to refine what they want their sound to be and where they want to go with their psychedelic progression. Get a feel for how it went down in the jam room with the clip below:

Renate/Cordate, “Humankind (Not My Kind)” Rehearsal Footage

The video was filmed in our rehearsal place/studio and audio was also recorded at the same time. This song has been on our live setlist for quite some time, and therefore we decided to give everyone a sample of the new stuff we’ve been writing. Here you go!

The new album will be recorded at the last weekend of 2013, and after that vocals and additional noise will be recorded ASAP. Niko from Domovoyd will be giving his personal touch on the album by adding noise/ambience/etc, and he has been joining us on stage now for quite some time. The plan is to release the album on vinyl in 2014.

Renate/Cordate on Thee Facebooks

Renate/Cordate on Bandcamp

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Domovoyd Debut Album Oh Sensibility Now Streaming in Full

Posted in audiObelisk on October 11th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Today, Oct. 11, marks the Svart Records release of the debut Domovoyd full-length, Oh Sensibility. It is a work of vast-ranging psychedelic cacophony, shield-your-eyes bright tonality underscored by devastating heft. They might as well have called it, “Oh Sensibility, I Can’t Believe We Just Melted You With Psychedelic Guitars.” Songs are given to lumber as much as rolling, nodding heavy grooves, but there are points — set up by the fittingly-titled introductory opening track — when the wash of noise comes to a head and Domovoyd seem to be swallowed whole in the swirling torrent they’ve crafted. There are touches of neu-er Electric Wizard in some of their stretches of riffy triumph, both early on in shorter cuts like “Lamia” and later in the sprawling 16-minute closer “Argenteum Astrum,” but by and large, Domovoyd are on a totally different trip.

Primarily, what makes Oh Sensibility such a rich listen over the course of its 52 minutes is the tones and the interaction between guitarists Oskar Tunderberg and Niko Lehdontie. The former manages to hold together already-liquified riffing in kind with bassist Dmitry Melet – whose own tone is not to be underappreciated — and the dynamic drumming of Axel Solimeis, and this allows Lehdontie the space to add a barrage of effects to the fray. He’s not shy about it. Each crescendo throughout the album and each moment of atmospheric cosmos-worship is brought to a fuller breadth through the chaos, and there are stretches as on “Incarnation” when it seems like Tunderberg‘s vocals have already been consumed by the tide. Following the abrasive rise of “Introduction,” “Incarnation” takes hold with equally vicious feedback and riffing, leading to the more languid druggery of “Lamia” en route to the epic trio of “By Taking a Breath” (9:33), “Effluvial Condenser” (13:38) and the aforementioned “Argenteum Astrum” (16:13), but though Domovoyd veer into abrasion when they so choose, Oh Sensibility never loses its psychedelic vibe, resulting in a creative blend that pulls you in from the very start.

And yeah, there are times where it just sounds fucked up, like “Lamia”‘s Godflesh-gone-stoner cacophony, and the Nirvana reference that shows up halfway into “By Taking a Breath,” but that only adds intrigue to the proceedings, which stand as a remarkable accomplishment particularly for the Seinäjoki foursome’s first album. Perhaps the most telling moment of all on the record is early into “Effluvial Condenser” when the words “electric charge” are repeated in whispers that cut through the space-rock din surrounding. If that’s what’s doing it for Domovoyd, who of course then embark on a massive album-unto-themselves push with that song and the fittingly oppressive apex-fuzz provided by “Argenteum Astrum,” sign me up. Tune down, plug in, crash galaxies.

Do your frontal lobe some damage by checking out the entirety of Oh Sensibility on the player below:

Domovoyd‘s Oh Sensibility is available now on Svart Records. The band have a couple gigs lined up in November to support the LP:

Nov. 20th – Nuclear Nightclub (OUL) w/ Oranssi pazuzu
Nov. 21st – Rytmikorjaamo (SJK) w/ Oranssi pazuzu
Nov. 30th – Secret party (secret location)

Domovoyd on Thee Facebooks

Svart Records

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Swallow the Sun to Perform and Stream The Morning Never Came Live this Week

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 24th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Been a quick decade since Finnish doomers Swallow the Sun released their debut full-length, The Morning Never Came. I recall the album came out in the States on the now-defunct Olympic Records, which at the time was an imprint of Century Media, and it was a killer atmospherically from the word go. Probably you could debate back and forth how influential the band has been since, and that might be fun, but I know that album certainly left an impression on me when I heard it. Enough so that I haven’t let one of Swallow the Sun‘s albums pass unbought since, even as they’ve moved on from their doomly beginnings to a more melancholic brand of dark, progressive metal.

Apparently I’m not the only one to have been caught in The Morning Never Came‘s wake, since Swallow the Sun will perform the album from to back as part of a 10th anniversary celebration this Thursday at Klubi in Tampere, streaming the whole thing live as well. If that sounds like your glass of lonkero, check out the details below, courtesy of the PR wire:



Iconic Finnish doom merchants Swallow the Sun are embarking on a fall tour to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their landmark debut album The Morning Never Came.

The band’s show, scheduled for Thursday, September 26 in Tampere in their native Finland, will be livestreamed globally (10PM UTC/6PM EDT).

Swallow the Sun will perform the album in full, adding other tracks to the encore.

Stream the event here and feel like you are front and center without ever having to leave the house!

Swallow the Sun tour dates
26.9.2013 Klubi, Tampere
27.9.2013 On the Rocks, Helsinki
28.9.2013 Lutakko, Jyväskylä

w/ Antimatter & The Foreshadowing
25.10.2013 Kiff, Aarau, Switzerland
26.10.2013 Rock & Roll Arena, Milan, Italy
27.10.2013 Backstage, Munich, Germany
28.10.2013 Nova Chmelnice, Prague, Czech Republic
29.10.2013 Steinbruch Theater, Darmstadt, Germany
30.10.2013 Grünspan, Darmstadt, Germany
31.10.2013 Helvete, Oberhausen, Germany
1.11.2013 Nouveau Casino, Paris, France
2.11.2013 Brainstorm Festival, Apeldoorn, Netherlands
3.11.2013 Biebob, Vosselaar, Belgium
4.11.2013 Underworld, London, UK

Swallow the Sun, The Morning Never Came (2003)

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Seremonia to Release Ihminen Oct. 18

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 11th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Their 2012 self-titled debut was a gloriously weird psychedelic rocker — full of garage fuzz, vague devil worship and eerie melodicism — and today, engaging Finnish bizarros Seremonia have announced a quick turnaround on a follow-up. Svart, who also handled the debut, will issue Ihminen on Oct. 18. I haven’t heard it yet, but I’ve got high hopes coming off the last one and the track “Ovi,” which was released as a 7″ earlier this year and which you can hear on the player that follows the PR wire info below.

Dig it:

SEREMONIA set release date for new SVART album

Today, SVART RECORDS sets October 18th as the international release date for SEREMONIA’s second album, ihminen, to be released on both CD and LP formats. Finnish for “human,” SEREMONIA’s ihminen follows the band’s self-titled debut album, released to worldwide critical acclaim last year by SVART. The first taste of this psychedelic new album can be heard in “Ovi,” released earlier this year on 7″: Cover and tracklisting for SEREMONIA’s ihminen are as follows:

Tracklisting for SEREMONIA’s ihminen
1. Noitamestari
2. Itsemurhaaja
3. Ovi
4. Suuri Valkeus
5. Painajaisten Maa
6. Luonto Kostaa
7. Ihminen
8. Itsemurhaaja II
9. Vastaus Rukouksiisi
10. Tähtien Takaa
11. Hallava Hevonen

SEREMONIA comes from Finland, plays heavy psychedelic rock, and sings in their native language. Their eponymous debut album was released by SVART RECORDS in 2012. Since then, the band has played their creepy brand of psych rock in very different venues, be it small punk rock dives or bigger festivals like Finland’s Tuska, Denmark’s Heavy Days in Doomtown, or Holland’s Roadburn. On their sophomore album ihminen, the band both continues the primitive pounding of their eponymous debut and expands their trademark sound into more epic directions.

SEREMONIA’s influences still come from the most psyched-out acid vinyls the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s have to offer. On ihminen, the influence of old Finnish punk and prog rock is more audible than before. The prevailing theme in Ilkka Vekka’s lyrics is the lunacy and evil in man. It’s not a concept album with a clear storyline, but every single song paints a coherently pessimistic picture of these dark times we’re all living in.

The explosively unpredictable nature of SEREMONIA’s onstage playing has been captured in the studio. The bass churns out the catchy riffs, screeching fuzz guitars wail feverishly, and drums pummel away in a psychotic frenzy. Flutes, synthesizers and bold use of effects add cosmic dimensions to the mix. On top of these psychedelic dirges, vocalist Noora Federley preaches the dark gospel in a blood-chillingly cool manner. The 2010s may have more than its share of Black Sabbath-influenced retro-rock bands, but SEREMONIA stands out from the crowd just by naturally sounding a few notches more creepy and weird than your average hippie doomsters.

Noora Federley – vocals
Teemu Markkula -electric and acoustic guitars, synthesizer, backing vocals
Ville Pirinen – electric guitars, synthesizer, backing vocals
Erno Taipale – drums, flute, guitar
Ilkka Vekka – bass, synthesizer

SEREMONIA discography
Rock’n'rollin maailma / Nämä kesäiset päivät 7” (Svart 2012)
Seremonia CD/LP (Svart 2012)
Ovi / Vastaus rukouksiisi 7” (Svart 2013)
Ihminen CD/LP (Svart 2013)


Seremonia, “Ovi”

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Mansion, We Shall Live: Wake the Sleeping Preacher

Posted in Reviews on September 2nd, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

Finnish six-piece Mansion base their work around concepts taken from the mid-20th Century Christian cult Kartanoism, which branched off the Lutheran church and was founded by and named for Alma Kartano, was noted for things like having heavily-abused child preachers, speaking in tongues, denial of sex even in marriage, and so on. “Kartano” is “mansion” in Finnish, and so the band Mansion make their debut with the We Shall Live EP on Svart with a strong sense of background in the history of this movement that at one point contained hundreds of people. I had doubts as to whether or not Kartanoism existed — there’s a Wikipedia page about it, it’s mentioned in the description of a book and namedropped on an ex-pentecostal forum — but even if not, that only makes the band more creative. Their frontwoman has also taken the name Alma, and joined by guitarists Jaakob and Veikko-Tapoi, keyboardist Aleksanteri, bassist Immanuel and drummer Mikael, Mansion proffers complex and memorable end-time heavy rock the perspective of which might best be summed up in the extension of its title: “We shall live/You will die/Lost in time.” The historical realism of the concept notwithstanding, it’s this point of view that really separates Mansion and We Shall Live from the slew of modern cult heavy rockers. Where a band like The Devil’s Blood preached Satanism during their time, and Uncle Acid are more bent on drugged-out murder idolatry, Hexvessel offer folksy nature worship on a vehement environmentalist scale and American groups like Castle, Satan’s Satyrs and Venomous Maximus run themselves somewhere between all of the above, Alma and Mansion are just as quick to damn their audience as to project an air of superiority. Some of that is vocal inflection, but I’ll argue it’s in the music as well and certainly in lyrics like the above-quoted or “Give is the names/Give is the guilty/So we may cure/Those that are filthy” from “Slumber Sermon,” the final of the four cuts on the half-hour-long EP. To the very core of what they bring to their first release (some Bandcamp digital singles seem to have preceded), Mansion remain loyal to their aesthetic and to their concept.

Where that might lead one to expect some element of the Kartanoist era’s music to make its way into Mansion‘s repertoire — some brass instrument or upright piano or such — that’s not how the songs play out. There is some organ to be heard from the synth and opener “Mother’s Burden” begins with a kind of humming drone over which Alma slips into resolute and dramatic tension, but We Shall Live remains a work of heavy cult rock. Those who had experience with The Devil’s Blood will find a few superficial sonic similarities, though Mansion are far less psychedelic than that Dutch outfit wound up. Still, Alma‘s powerful vocals on top of driving, chugging riffs like that which takes hold on “Mother’s Burden” are effective if true to (sub)genre at this point. By the time the release is finished, Mansion have developed a personality of their own within it, but especially with the underlying swirl the synth creates and the metallic hooks that stand out from “Mother’s Burden,” there will be those for whom We Shall Live rings familiar. Fortunately, as much energy as the band dedicates to sticking to their founding concept, they match that with the fortitude of their songwriting. Each of the four tracks on the EP — “Mother’s Burden,” “We Shall Live,” “Sorrowless” and “Slumber Sermon” — has both a standout feel and something that ties it to the others, making We Shall Live both an engaging first installment from Mansion and a satisfying front-to-back listen. “Mother’s Burden” breaks in its second half to choral layering and ringing bells, building back to a slower refrain of the chorus, and rides that rhythm for a while as a guitar solo takes hold, but draws back to the faster chug to round out symmetrically before giving over to “We Shall Live,” the shuffle of which proves worthy of the aforementioned Uncle Acid but becomes fleshed out with organ sounds and Alma‘s vocal drama as it works its way toward another slowdown and well-structured apex.

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Renate/Cordate, Renate/Cordate: Conjuring the Climb

Posted in Reviews on August 26th, 2013 by H.P. Taskmaster

What makes the self-titled, self-released debut EP from Oulu instrumental four-piece Renate/Cordate intriguing isn’t so much that it’s breaking new ground nearly as much as it’s setting up a fluidity between several familiar styles. The four-song, 28-minute release follows a 2010 demo from the Finnish group, and finds them fleshing out flowing heavy psychedelia that can alternately be traced back to instrumentalists like Pelican, earlier Red Sparowes and Russian Circles, with rougher traces of heavy psychedelia à la My Sleeping Karma or even elements at work from Isis-style post metal, but it’s all very well balanced so that Renate/Cordate don’t seem overly adherent to one school of method or another. I wouldn’t call Renate/Cordate revolutionary, but it’s clear the band — bassist Aki, guitarists Ville and Samuli (who’s also credited with vocals, though I’ve heard none on the release) and drummer Antti-Pekka — are in the process of establishing an individual style for themselves, and that comes across in both the hypnotic droning moments of third cut “Conjuring Power” or the post-metal ambience in the midsection of “Calumet.” The results are noble in kind to the mission, and though it’s short, I’m more inclined to think of Renate/Cordate as a full-length, both for the flow it demonstrates between its tracks and for the subtle stylistic turns that each piece represents. In fact, I’d gladly argue that Renate/Cordate makes a better album than an EP, because where an EP is generally geared toward giving a band rein to make an initial statement, feel out a shift in aesthetic or provide listeners with a sample of what they do, Renate/Cordate feels complete in its ideas and gives a much richer impression than a phrase like “self-titled, self-released debut EP” used above might imply. Ultimately, it’s a minute distinction between one or the other in terms of how you actually listen to the release, but hopefully it gives some impression of the overarching effectiveness the band displays in terms of feeding one song into the next and tying the whole work together as one cohesive expression.

Perhaps as one might expect, repetition and tonal weight are go-to elements of Renate/Cordate‘s approach. Riffs get pretty big when the band wants them to, but it’s important to remember that it’s the dynamic and the smoothness which with Renate/Cordate turn from loud to quiet and execute their builds that stands the EP out among its many peers working under similar influence. Beginning with “The Climb,” they commence a patient groove as a bed for the aptly-named progression that ensues. Aki‘s bass is an immediate standout factor, rich and warm in its tone, and Antti-Pekka‘s subdued ride work keeps a sense of movement to the quiet initial moment while the guitars slowly come more and more to prominence. A stop at 2:30 drops out everything but the bass, and an effects whistle after three minutes in hints at the impact to come — almost like a bomb dropping. The build-up happens in tense measures from there and at 4:48, the track explodes to its apex, hitting a peak that rounds out in chugging, churning riffs marked out by a wash of cymbals and an ever-faster pulse that continues to rise — or climb, as it were — until there’s about 20 seconds left in the seven-minute piece and it finally, inevitably must subside, feedback leading straight into “Calumet,” the march of which is more immediate in its motion. In the background, a subtle swirl plays out behind to add heavy psychedelic flourish to layered wah guitar. Another, less telegraphed, full-toned heavy section takes hold after roughly a minute and a half — all the tracks hover on either side of seven minutes long — and breaks gradually to atmospheric jamming. Here too, it’s not like the band has stopped, but as the rhythm section holds together and develops the relatively straightforward line that acted as the center of the song since its start, both Ville and Samuli are given room to play out in serene, proggy explorations. It becomes hypnotic quickly, and is the kind of thing Ufomammut might counter with a grand cosmic bludgeoning. Renate/Cordate don’t get quite that far, but a quick switch to heavier lines gives breadth to the listening experience and highlights the fact that just because they can be patient doesn’t mean they always will.

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